New sculpture walk designed to link the O2 and Olympic park
A selection of sculptures from a host of artists including Damien Hirst, Martin Creed and Gary Hume, will be unveiled on 23 May on The Line, a new sculpture walk designed to link London’s O2 and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The artworks will be placed around the O2, the Royal Docks and along the River Lea and associated canals. Visitors will be able to join The Line at any point along the route to explore the three miles of waterways.
The Line was devised by urban regeneration expert Clive Dutton and contemporary art dealer Megan Piper, with support from Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. One of its key aims is ‘to bring high-quality artworks out of warehouses and into the public realm’.
Sculpture expert Carolyn Miner has recently joined the team as curator of the project and is now working on plans for associated temporary projects and exhibitions – further details of which will be released soon.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, describes The Line as an exciting new public art project that will offer another reason to visit an increasingly important part of the city. ‘Not only does it highlight London as a cultural capital,’ he says, ‘it will be a wonderfully creative wayfaring device, helping guide people exploring the route that is opening up from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, through the Royal Docks and on to Greenwich Peninsula’.
The works selected for The Line’s inaugural year were part of an open submission. Artists, galleries and collections were invited to propose works for consideration by an independent panel.
All works will be on loan to the project for two years and The Line’s ambition is to create a permanent outdoor exhibition space, with additional works continually introduced.
The selection panel for the first works included Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger, Whitechapel Gallery curator Omar Kholeif, art collector and philanthropist Anita Zabludowicz, art critic Richard Cork, co-founder of The Line Megan Piper and local resident Simon Myers who founded Cody Dock – a community-led creative hub on the River Lea.
Through the civic crowdfunding platform Spacehive, The Line successfully crowdfunded over £140,000 last year to initiate the project. Garfield Weston Foundation, R. Todd Ruppert from Ruppert International Inc. and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners Charitable Foundation also contributed to the project, which is also supported by the Canal & River Trust through its Arts on the Waterways programme.
The Line has four charity partners: the Canal & River Trust, The Legacy List, the House of Fairy Tales and Gasworks Dock Partnership, all of which are establishing education and outreach programmes to ensure it reaches and engages new audiences.
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