Canary Wharf now has one of the UK’s largest collections of public art, including work by leading artists and designers, and a year-round temporary exhibition programme, all free to view.
The visual arts have been an important component of the cultural dimension of Canary Wharf from the outset of planning the estate, when the developers invested in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers to realise their commitment to creating an exemplary environment. A public art programme was initiated from the early 1990s, with leading practitioners commissioned to create functional and sculptural works. In 2002 Canary Wharf’s Art Programme won an Art and Work Award for an ‘Outstanding Contribution to Art in the Working Environment’. This achievement was followed in 2010 when Canary Wharf Group won the ‘Christie’s Award for Best Corporate Art Collection and Programme’ at the International Art and Work Awards.
Canary Wharf’s public art collection now numbers over 65 works of art throughout the estate, including stand-alone pieces and integrated artist-architectural works, all executed by some of the most inspired artists, designers and craftsmen of today. For details of these works see the Art on the Estate page. A fourth edition of the illustrated Art Map: Public Art at Canary Wharf was published in 2012 showing the locations for all these works. The Art Map is freely available around the Estate, and can be distributed to interested individuals and organisations or you can download the Art Map here
Established in 2001, the ‘Sculpture in the Workplace’ temporary exhibition programme takes place in the Lobby of One Canada Square and in Jubilee Park. The intention is to show sculpture in its widest sense by artists from well-established names to those early in their careers, and aims to engage and inform workforce and visitors alike. In December 2011 Canary Wharf celebrated the first 10 years of the programme with a new book ‘Sculpture at Canary Wharf: A Decade of Exhibitions’, which includes work by some 130 artists in over 45 shows. A number of works have subsequently been purchased for the permanent collection, most recently Charles Hadcock’s Helisphere and Torsion II from his 2011 Jubilee Park exhibition, now installed in Heron Quays Park.
Canary Wharf also has a number of Window Galleries in Canada Place Shopping Mall providing a monthly showcase for artists, craftspeople and designers. The wide variety of exhibits includes fashion, jewellery and applied arts, as well as photography, print and painting, and works using the medium of light. With a footfall of 700,000 a week in the malls, this programme brings exhibitors a new, wide audience, and visitors have the opportunity to see unique and unusual pieces by some of today’s most interesting young designers and artists. In addition, the Community Window Gallery is dedicated to showing arts projects by local groups, reflecting the diversity of the community and its many talented participants.
Hard copies of the Art Map, exhibition leaflets, or information on ordering ‘Sculpture at Canary Wharf: A Decade of Exhibitions’ (price £25) available upon request. Please contact us for details.