A blog that shows that I have little knowledge of art

The last blog rambled on a bit (arf), so I wasn’t actually able to cover the art bit of our art and architecture (artitecture?) walk, so here it is.

You wouldn’t really associate the City with art – from the outside, there’s the perception that it’s all business, with no time for anything else. However, my Autumn Amble showed me a different side of the country’s financial centre, largely driven by the Sculpture in the City initiative.

The first piece we came across was Adam Chodzko’s Ghost, which is hanging down from the roof of Leadenhall Market. It may look like a regular kayak (at least, it did from underneath), but apparently it’s used as a waterborne camera rig and, oddly, a coffin.

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There were a number of pieces around the Gherkin – not surprising given the footfall the area receives from workers and tourists alike. Ekkhard’s Altenburger Red Atlas was propped up unassumingly against a wall, with the diminutive Carson, Emma, Takashi, Zezi, Nia by Tomoaki Suzuki nearby.

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The attention is drawn by much more striking pieces around the other side of 30 St Mary Axe – Ai Weiwei’s Forever, which is a mass of connected bikes (with real spinning wheels) and Damien Hirst’s subversive Charity – a blatant critique on the bankers that caused the financial crash in 2007-8.

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At St Helen’s Bishopsgate, we moved away from controversy with Shaun Hur’s Broken Pillar #12, which was the last piece of the current Sculpture in the City exhibits that were passed.

It wasn’t the end of the art though, with our walk taking in City Wing on Old Broad Street – supposedly a dragon, but looking somewhat avian – and finishing with Gavin Turk’s Nail at One New Change.

Of course, not all the art is going to be to everyone’s taste, but whether you like it or not, it’s certainly heartening to know that the City has the capacity for colour and commentary, just like the rest of London.

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