3 Mar 2011

East is East

The second London day out was concentrating on installations, art & design within the East of London, starting at Moorgate tube station, & ending at Gillett Square in Dalston, Hackney. The images below show the things we came across throughout the day:

This is the Fulcrum, a corten steel sculpture, designed by Richard Serra. The designer was given a task of creating a sculpture to fit into the small space which is Octagon Square, Serra decided to design upwards in order to make something striking & imposing without taking up too much space.

Broadgate circle is this circular space, mainly used for events throughout the year. The programme of events is called the Broadgate Arena, one of the most popular events being the ice rink that is set up in the circle from october through the winter months.

Finsbury Avenue Square was refurbished by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, turning it into a sophisticated public square in the heart of Broadgate. The square's most striking feature is its grid patterned, interactive lighting. The lights bring the square to life at night, & it becomes a very popular destination.

This was a casting of old London displayed in Bishop's Square. Bishop's Square is just to the west of Spitalfields Market, & is considered part of the Spitalfields area.

Water feature in Bishop's Square

Art installation in Bishop's Square; "I'm late, I'm late, I'm very, very late!!", the rabbits were designed by Paul Cox with history of the area in mind. Spitalfields was originally a grazing area for cattle, (hence 'field' in the name), the sculpture is also meant to represent the people who live & work in the East of London, who like rabbits stay in close knit communities. The rabbits are moveable, so have popped up in lots of different locations within the Spitalfields complex. They're a happy installations, which brings a smile to your face & adds a light hearted touch to what is normally quite a business orientated, busy area.

Whilst walking through Brick Lane I saw several pieces of graffiti that really stood out to me. The one above I particularly like, it is a really beautiful piece of artwork. After some research I discovered it's by a renowned Belgian street artist Roa. Roa has painted several creatures (always animals) around the Brick Lane/Spitalfields area. I particularly like this one as I think herons are amazing birds (Roa's original intention was to paint a heron, but then told it looked like a crane...so slightly altered it to look more like a crane, although I still think it looks very heron like), and the style it has been done in reminds me a lot of the works of Thomas Hooper, a world renowned tattoo artist whos work I hugely admire.

This graffiti caught my eye because it is actually very unattractive, but because of this it is very striking.

View from Spitalfields City Farm across to the city

We stopped in at Hackney City Farm. This farm has been open for 20 years, allowing children & adults the opportunity to get close to farm animals & wildlife in the heart of the city. The farm seemed very opular, even on a wednesday when we visited there was a large amount of people coming in & out.

Along the Regent's canal there was a series of these mirrored mosaics. Although many of them were old, damaged & graffited they really lit up the unattractive walls in which they were set.

The final stop was Gillett Square in Dalston. I have seen photos & read about this newly redeveloped square, & have always been interested to see it.... on arrival I was very disappointed. All it was was a grey paved area with two benches, one handrail & very little else. It was very uninspiring considering it was one of the first to be completed of the "100 Public Spaces programme" in London. The only striking & attractive feature was this old shipping container which has been covered in mirrors.

No comments: