Canary Wharf continues to expand its collection of public art, introducing six stunning new pieces to the Estate’s already impressive collection – creating an ‘open air gallery’ for people to enjoy. With an ever-growing portfolio of over 75 permanent works by over 50 world-renowned artists and crafts people, Canary Wharf has one of the UK’s largest collections of public art that is free to enjoy in the green spaces of the Estate.
Art plays a crucial role at Canary Wharf and the Estate’s curators strongly believe in its power to create a sense of space and belonging. Canary Wharf’s cultural masterplan draws on a rollcall of modern artistic talent and the latest works are no different.
Among the newest additions is the newly acquired Scribbleform by Birmingham-born artist Julian Wild, now one of the largest sculptures on the Estate, at an impressive 10 metres, in a stunning red and weighing three tonnes. Also proudly displayed is The Clew by Ottotto, a minimal and elegant structure formed of 100 circles of red light and a highlight from Canary Wharf’s Winter Lights 2020 festival.
Other new artworks include Metamorphosis, by Helaine Blumenfeld OBE, which was exclusively commissioned by Canary Wharf Group to be placed in the new residential district, Wood Wharf. The four-metre bronze sculpture joins previously commissioned piece Fortuna (2016) also by Helaine Blumenfeld, located in Jubilee Park. Meanwhile, contemporary street artist and East London resident Camille Walala’s bold transformation of Adams Plaza Bridge has been absorbed into the permanent art collection after its debut at the inaugural London Mural Festival.
The extensive collection showcases decades of creative freedom which is featured in the artists’ works. This is evident through their use of materials and mediums; from brass to bronze, marble to wood, the vast structures of all shapes and sizes impose themselves on the Estate. The covid-secure art programme unites art and nature – integrating the iconic scenery of Canary Wharf and creating an open-air gallery accessible to all.
Canary Wharf has a long and rich history with art and has introduced works onto the Estate for the last 30 years. Canary Wharf’s founding objective continues to be to take an inclusive approach to art, making world-famous works available to the general public for free. Canary Wharf has ensured its collection encompasses a mix of standalone sculptures, integrated art-architectural works, and artist-designed functional pieces.
Sir George Iacobescu CBE, Executive Chairman, Canary Wharf Group, said: “Art is a crucial part of the sense of place at Canary Wharf. Through the many exhibitions we host, our permanent and award-winning public art collection, and the architecture of our iconic buildings – art and design surrounds you as soon as you arrive. It is an important way of inspiring and engaging our residents, visitors and the workers on the Canary Wharf estate.”
“It is very important to us that all of our public art is accessible for local residents and for visitors from across London, especially in these difficult times.”
“That is why we have added pieces to our outdoor sculpture and installations, and we have extended our free indoor exhibitions to ensure that people can continue to enjoy the works of some of the best British and international artists safely.”
Each piece featured at Canary Wharf has been carefully curated, with location and accessibility front of mind.
Non-essential shops at Canary Wharf are due to open in-line with government guidance on Wednesday 2nd December. In the meantime, visitors are encouraged to enjoy the free outdoors public art trail.
Captivated By Colour – Camille Walala
As part of the first London Mural Festival, Canary Wharf Group commissioned East London resident and renowned street artist, Camille Walala, to transform the iconic Adams Plaza Bridge into a showstopping highlight. Now a permanent addition, the hypnotic design was unveiled in September 2020 and sees the landmark wrapped in bold geometric shapes and colours. Visitors’ perceptions of the piece will change throughout the day, as daylight and darkness seeps through to alter the visuals inside the structure.
LOOKING UP – Helaine Blumenfeld
Inspired by human relationships and intimate connections, LOOKING UP, the largest ever solo exhibition from sculptor, Helaine Blumenfeld OBE, is a showcase of her life’s work. Encouraging unity in difficult times – an attribute of society needed now more than ever, the exhibition was extended due to lockdown Works staged in the Lobby of One Canada Square will continue to be on view until Friday 6th November 2020, with outdoor works will be in position during 2021 on the Estate.
Scribbleform – Julian Wild
Julian Wild’s Scribbleform is one of the largest sculptures on the Estate, measuring at over 10 metres in length and four metres in height. Positioned in Montgomery Square, ScribbleForm is part of a series by Wild which investigates gesture in relation to sculptural form. Red in colour, the piece is strongly associated with modernist sculpture. The piece disrupts the minimal aesthetic by weaving and tangling itself into a complex form that defies gravity and sense.
Standing Figure (Man) and Standing Figure (Woman) – Sean Henry
After commissioning Standing Figure (Man) in 2019, Canary Wharf Group opted to compliment it with Standing Woman (2020) also designed By Sean Henry. Situated in Park Drive, and standing opposite each other, Henry’s two sculptures invite bystanders to question and decide for themselves whether they are passing one another as strangers, friends or are there to meet each other.
Tandem Lovers – Gillie & Marc
Gillie & Marc are passionate about raising much-needed funds and awareness for endangered animals, which is evident through their bronze sculpture art. Situated in South Colonnade, opposite One Canada Square, Tandem Lovers features Gillie & Marc’s beloved characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, who tell the autobiographical tale of two opposites coming together to become best friends and soulmates.
The Clew – Ottotto
A highlight of Winter Lights 2020, The Clew by Portuguese artists Ottotto, weaves its way into the fabric of the Estate, with 100 sharp red strobes entwined in the structure of Cubitt Steps Bridge. The minimalistic design creates a series of captivating reflections on the surrounding water and structures, giving a different perspective on the architecture of Canary Wharf.
Minotaur and Hare on Bench – Sophie Ryder
Coming soon to compliment the new children’s playground in Harbour Gardens, Wood Wharf; the Minotaur and Hare on Bench showcases Ryder’s fascination in animals and mystical creatures. The sculpture, being installed in December 2020, represents the concept of the Lady-Hare, a woman with the head of a hare, inspired by the hares of the English countryside, as a counterpart to the masculine Minotaur of Greek Mythology.