The Line is a new sculpture walk in East London which launched in May 2015. The route roughly follows the Meridian Line, linking two of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford and The O2 on the Greenwich Peninsula. The project aims to bring modern and contemporary sculpture to the waterways and will encourage people to explore more of East London.
Stretching over three miles The Line broadly tracks the Greenwich Meridian line. There are underground and overground stations all along the route, and to reach the Greenwich Peninsula walkers are encouraged to use the Emirates Air Line cable car. The route takes about 3 hours to complete.
The Greenwich Peninsula is host to two of the sculptures at on the Thames Path around The O2:
- 'Here' by Thomson & Craighead (2013) shows the distance back to Here, the very same spot, when pointed on a North/South axis; 24,859 miles being the longitudinal diameter of Earth.
- London-based artists Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead originally conceived Here in 2011 as a virtual image for The Mini Museum of XXI Century Arts, an online digital media platform. The concept was to mark the distance of the work from itself along a North/South axis. The physical sculpture, fabricated to UK road standards two years later, marks the 24,859 mile distance around the earth and back (i.e. the longitudinal diameter of Earth). The current placement of this sculpture is particularly relevant in its current location on the Greenwich Meridian, which is located at 0 degrees.
- 'Liberty Grip' by Gary Hume (2008) portrays three arms in an evocative form, toying with the conventional uses of monumental sculpture.
- British artist Gary Hume modelled this sculpture in three separate sections, each based on the arm of a store mannequin. The result is a sculpture of the human form caught between representation and abstraction. To further blur these boundaries, Hume cast the sculpture in bronze on a monumental scale, alluding to traditional commemorative sculpture, which he then contrasts mischievously with the candy-pink patina at the end of each limb.
Other sculptures, located elsewhere along The Line, will include work by Martin Creed, Damien Hirst, Eduardo Paolozzi, Sterling Ruby and Piotr Uklanski.
The Line is a Community Interest Company, set up by Megan Piper and Clive Dutton. It launched an ambitious crowdfunding campaign in February 2014 and successfully raised over £140,000 in less than eight weeks. One of the aims of The Line is to present existing work in a new context. Artists, galleries and collections were requested to propose work for consideration by an independent panel. The works that are installed this year will be on loan for two years.
The project is intended as a permanent outdoor exhibition space with new works introduced every year. A phased approach will ensure The Line is a dynamic outdoor exhibition. Works will be on loan for two years and it is hoped that the The Line will become a permanent addition to London's cultural offering with new works introduced every year.
Two existing art installations on the Greenwich Peninsula also form part of The Line's sculpture trail. These are Richard Wilson's A Slice of Reality, a sliced vertical section along the Meridian Line through an old ship, and Antony Gormley's contemporary sculpture Quantum Cloud.
Planning applications for the installations on the Greenwich Peninsula were approved by the Royal Borough of Greenwich in September 2014:
- 14/1791/F: Installation of an Outdoor Sculpture: THOMSON & CRAIGHEAD 'HERE'. Land oppposite Ordnance Jetty, Thames Path.
- 14/1792/F: Installation of an Outdoor Sculpture: GARY HUME 'LIBERTY GRIP'. Land North East of the O2.
Search for planning applications here.
Below are figures from the planning applications that show the exact location of both pieces of work.