London … Sculpture in the City 2015: seeking solace in art during yet another London Underground Tube strike

I cannot believe I am thanking RMT for their latest spate of industrial action affecting the London Underground. If it wasn’t for the Tube strike on the 9th of July (2015), I wouldn’t have encountered a 22-foot tall ‘little’ girl, five individuals barely a third of the height of an average adult, two large cat-people clearly in a state of despair and an ageing monarch wearing armour that had seen better days. These were not delirious visions brought on by exhaustion after traipsing for hours across London to reach an overland station running trains that might get me remotely closer to home. These were four fabulous modern art installations making up the City of London Corporation‘s latest ‘Sculpture in the City’ exhibition. 

On public display around the streets of the financial ‘Square Mile’ for the duration of the Summer, this free art exhibition is made up of fourteen unique pieces of modern sculpture created by critically-acclaimed international artists including Damien Hurst and Ai Weiwei. There are no access restrictions nor any fee to view these pieces.

The works are thought-provoking and often humorous whether intentional or not. This latter point may explain my accompanying comments and quips below which some readers may find frivolous. I apologise in advance for my ignorance.


 

Charity by Damien Hirst

Undershaft

Is that his wife he is talking to on the phone, and will she believe him when he describes his whereabouts to her?

Is that his wife he is talking to on the phone, and will she believe him when he describes his whereabouts to her?


 

Forever by Ai Weiwei

St Mary Axe (Gherkin)

A late comer to the project, installed in September 2015 (to coincide with Ai Weiwei's visit to the city) ... but well worth the wait

A late comer to the project, installed in September 2015 (to coincide with Ai Weiwei’s visit to the city) … but well worth the wait

That is a helluva lot of Boris Bikes

That is a helluva lot of Boris Bikes

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Forever Ai Weiwei St Mary Axe Gherkin, front with street marking

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Forever Ai Weiwei St Mary Axe Gherkin, front with female cyclist


 

‘O my friends, there are no friends’ by Sigalit Landau

St Helen’s Square

London Sculpture in the City 2015 'O my friends, there are no friends' Sigalit Landau St Helen's Square

London Sculpture in the City 2015 'O my friends, there are no friends' Sigalit Landau St Helen's Square, close up

At last, Cinderella has been found!! (By the way these girls and their male companion were not friends of mine but they seemed very nice)

At last, Cinderella has been found!! (By the way these girls and their male companion were not friends of mine but they seemed very nice)


 

Days of Judgement – Cats 1 & 2 by Laura Ford

150 Leadenhall Street

How most Londoners were feeling (and looking) that day - the day of the latest Tube strike

How most Londoners were feeling (and looking) that day – the day of the latest Tube strike


 

Rays (London) by Xavier Veilhan

Fenchurch Avenue

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Rays Xavier Veilhan Fenchurch Avenue, black and white

Pigeons beware when flying close to this piece

Pigeons beware when flying close to this piece


 

Bells II by Kris Martin

99 Bishopgate

I would like to say "ooo, what a massive bellend!", but that may be misinterpreted

I would like to say “ooo, what a massive bellend!”, but that may be misinterpreted

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Bells II Kris Martin, 99 Bishopgate, side


 

Altar by Kris Martin

St Botolph-without-Bishopgate Gardens

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Altar Kris Martin St Botolph-without-Bishopgate Gardens, framing spire building

I witnessed a pair of teenagers using this as a volleyball net

I witnessed a pair of teenagers using this as a volleyball net

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Altar Kris Martin St Botolph-without-Bishopgate Gardens, with ornate street light

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Altar Kris Martin St Botolph-without-Bishopgate Gardens, framing building


 

Carson, Emma, Takashi, Zezi, Nai by Tomoaki Suzuki

30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin)

Experimental bollards near the Gherkin

Experimental bollards near the Gherkin

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Carson Emma Takashi Zezi Nia, Tomoaki Suzuki, St Mary Axe, Gherkin, back close up

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Carson Emma Takashi Zezi Nia, Tomoaki Suzuki, St Mary Axe, Gherkin, close up with cyclist

The new cast of The Borrowers seem very disapproving of the big people

The new cast of The Borrowers seem very disapproving of the big people


 

Old DNA by Folkert de Jong

Fenchurch Avenue

In case there is any confusion, the Old DNA sculpture is very close, but the not-so old dear next to it is far away

In case there is any confusion, the Old DNA sculpture is very close, but the not-so old dear next to it is far away

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Old DNA, Folkert de Jong, Fenchurch Avenue, head close up


 

Breakout II by Bruce Beasley

Undershaft

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Breakout II Bruce Beasley, Undershaft Hiscox, with the Cheesegrater in background


 

Ghost by Adam Chodzko

Leadenhall Market

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Ghost, Adam Chodzko, Leadenhall Market, full length close up

As I was taking this photo next to one of the busy bars in Leadenhall Market, I heard one pint-swigging chap ask another "Is that really a canoe up there or have I had enough tonight?" (It's actually a kayak)

As I was taking this photo next to one of the busy bars in Leadenhall Market, I heard one pint-swigging chap ask another “Is that really a canoe up there or have I had enough tonight?” (It’s actually a kayak)


 

Organisms of Control #8 by Keita Miyazaki

Bury Court

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Organisms of Control Keita Miyazaki, Bury Court, looking up

When I first saw the base to this piece I suddenly had visions of AT-AT Walkers from Star Wars ...

When I first saw the base to this piece I suddenly had visions of AT-AT Walkers from Star Wars

... and War of the Worlds from the rest of it

… and War of the Worlds from the rest of it


 

Broken Pillar #12 by Shan Hur

St Helen’s Bishopgate Churchyard

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Broken Pillar #12 Shan Hur, St Helen's Bishopgate Churchyard, front

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Broken Pillar #12 Shan Hur, St Helen's Bishopgate Churchyard, side


 

Red Atlas by Ekkehard Altenburger

30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin)

That must have been some lollipop!

That must have been some lollipop!

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Red Atlas Ekkehard Altenburger 30 St Mary Axe, Gherkin, by wall

London Sculpture in the City 2015 Red Atlas Ekkehard Altenburger 30 St Mary Axe, Gherkin, close up with tree


More details on the ‘Sculpture in the City 2015’ project, the artists and the true (more sensible) meanings behind these remarkable pieces can be found at the City of London Corporation‘s official website here.

TLT x

London Cancer Research UK's London Art DNA Trail 2015 What's in your DNA, Helix, Zaha Hadid, Stamp staircase basement South Wing Somerset House, middle looking upWhat’s in Cancer Research UK‘s first London art trail?

 

 

 

 

 

The lengths some will go to for a better view of the Festung Hohenslazburg ... or to just get out of the rain

The streets are alive with the sight of art work: Salzburg’s ‘Walk of Modern Art’ 

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