Square Mile’s Sculpture in the City gets annual revamp

Reza Aramesh's statue by the Gherkin

The City of London’s Sculpture in the City exhibition is back again with its ninth iteration. Some 19 installations have been placed around the Square Mile for people to actively seek out or simply stumble upon as they make their way around.

Many City folk will become intimately familiar with pieces located by their office building, finding a lunch buddy in the form of a marble statue or a pack of steel animals.

And when the sun is out, people are even invited to laze about on some concrete couches – one of the more interactive installations.

Dogs will inspect those put into parks, while skaters will dodge and weave around the pieces placed in large open squares. The Sculpture in the City series seeks to integrate art into the everyday life of London, allowing each and every person to interact with it in their own way. Not all art needs to be in stuffy galleries.

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Patrick Tuttofuoco’s The Source hangs down from the ceiling at Leadenhall Market

And you don’t have to spend all your hard earned money to view either. That’s the brilliance of public art. You can interact with each piece as much as you wish. Either wander past each day during your daily commute, taking a brief moment to enjoy the artwork or stop a little longer to discover the story behind the piece.

Simply go online or scan the QR code to get more information about the artist and the specific installation. The series includes works from internationally renowned artists, including Nathan Coley, Nina Saunders and Laurence Weiner, but one of our favourites is made by the one and only Jennifer Steinkamp.

Located underneath the new Garden at 120, this huge video installation consists of slowly moving flowers, vines and leaves. The piece loops forwards and backwards breaking apart and coming back together – making for a mesmerising show. And the way it reflects off the glass office windows allows the installation to grow and inhabit the space around it.

The two marble sculptures are also standouts. Seeing such classic art inhabit a truly modern city is really special.

Both Reclining Nude I by Kevin Francis Gray and Site of the Fall–study of the Renaissance Garden: Action 180: At 9:15 am Sunday 28 (yes that is the full name) by Reza Aramesh push the boundaries of what public art can be and should be.

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Jennifer Steinkamp’s Botanic is one of our favourites

Seeing Aramesh’s piece (lead image) in front of the Gherkin is truly special, while getting up close and personal with Gray’s sculpture will allow you to see the intricacy of the detailing.

Graham Packham, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s culture, heritage and libraries committee, said: “Sculpture in the City is hugely popular with workers, residents and visitors, who enjoy engaging with, and being challenged by, work created by world-class artists.

“The City Corporation’s support for Sculpture in the City underlines our commitment to promoting the arts and culture in this unique and historic area of London.”

Just don’t panic about ticking off every installation over the summer, as the exhibition will be running well in 2020.

Lead Image: Site of the Fall–study of the Renaissance Garden: Action 180: At 9:15 am Sunday 28 by Reza Aramesh