Canary Wharf adds new work to 100+ piece free public art collection


– Canary Wharf welcomes Simone Brewster’s ‘Spirit Of Place’ sculptures to Harbour Quay Gardens –

– The Wharf now plays host to five impressive large-scale totems that can be seen from multiple view points –

– The sculptures join the UK’s largest free to view collection of outdoor public art with over 100 pieces throughout the Estate –

Canary Wharf has welcomed a new, temporary, addition to its public art collection, from London-based artist, designer and cultural change-maker Simone Brewster. Her newest work, originally commissioned for London Design Festival 2023, is titled ‘Spirit Of Place’ and is made up of five large-scale, cork structures dotted across the boardwalk in Harbour Quay Gardens in Wood Wharf.

It is the latest artwork available to see for free at the Wharf – noted for having the UK’s largest, outdoor, free-to-explore public art collection. Brewster’s Spirit of Place is a welcome addition to Canary Wharf. In contrast to many of Canary Wharf’s sculptural works, which sit centrally in a space providing a single focal point, the 5 sculptures not only occupy space, but also affect the movements of the visitors in relation to them. Encouraging them to meander and explore different vantage points.

Positioned by the docks, the five vibrant column-like vessels are intended to evoke the idea of a forest of cork oak trees in Herdade de Rio Frio, Portugal. According to Brewster, the future of cork forests relies on “upright expression, drought resistance, regenerative growth, and biodiversity conservation”. These four elements are reflected in the installation that uses Amorim cork – seamlessly fusing architectural and domestic forms with the natural world.

Visitors are invited to explore and enjoy the colourful sculptures from all angles, experiencing the multiple backdrops of greenery, water or the monumental skyline of Canary Wharf. Simone’s latest work is the most recent addition to Canary Wharf’s collection, joining over 100 artworks by renowned artists including Henry Moore, Camille Walala, Helaine Blumenfeld and Yinka Illori.

To help them explore, visitors can download the Canary Wharf digital art guide from Bloomberg Connects – the free arts and cultural app. The guide includes photo and audio features which can be used on or off site to help art enthusiasts discover the extensive collection.

Artist Simone Brewster said: “It’s wonderful to know that ‘Spirit of Place‘ has found a new home in such a distinct London location. The surroundings right by the water’s edge will give passers-by a great opportunity to view the sculptures. I’m sure at this time of year, the vibrant collection will continue to be enjoyed by passers-by and the local community, whilst continuing the necessary conversation within design about beauty and sustainability.”

Those looking to keep the kids entertained this February half-term are encouraged to check out the newest installation as well as the popular Children’s Art Trail, where little ones can discover 12 pieces of art dotted around the Wharf. Those looking to get both fitness and culture fixes are invited to view the spectacular artworks on the Estate through a walk, jog or run on the Raise Your Art Rate Running Route.

If you’re looking to make a day of it, the Estate has over 70 cafes, bars and restaurants to choose from including Mmy Wood Wharf, mallow and Dishoom. There are plenty of family friendly activities too – from the Canary Wharf Ice Rink to Flip Out, there’s plenty to keep everyone busy.

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