For one night only, discover Nocturnal Creatures amongst the striking architecture of the City of London. As part of the Sculpture in the City festival, this one-off, late-night event combines sculpture with performance and sound with a little bit of audience participation thrown in.
Sculpture in the City is an exhibition of contemporary art, with the latest edition running until Spring 2023. And tonight they’re running a special event in partnership with the Whitechapel Gallery. It takes place around the City Cluster area and provides an innovative platform for artists to exhibit in public.
The event programme offers you a unique opportunity to experience the sculpture trail through immersive and engaging audio, and performance-based installations. A host of extraordinary east-end spaces will be transformed with dance and live art performances, workshops, participatory activities and sound installations.
You can take one of two recommended pathways to participate and experience the activations. The first is the All Seeing Pathway which takes you around all there is to see on the trail. Alternatively, take the Family-Friendly Pathway, which is tailored for all ages to enjoy.
What to see at the Sculpture in the City event
Inspired by ‘plug and feather’ marble carving is a live interactive performance by Emma Louise Moore. While sculpting her artwork in a steep valley, Moore noticed the sound of her carving bounced alongside a backdrop of natural sounds. Taking this as inspiration, Permanence is a site-specific performance at 100 Bishopsgate. It interacts with the architecture of the space. Form and motion contrast, immersing you in her process as a visual artist. These two hour-long performances happen at 6pm and 8pm.
An Orphaned Mixtape by Bram Ellens is a 10-minute soundtrack made from a mix of ‘80s CDs, tapes and LPs. Just like the old paintings given a new lease of life in Ellens’ Orphans on Cullum Street. This soundtrack will be inverted, on a 10-minute loop, having been live-mixed for an eight-hour duration. It creates an intimate and contemplative atmosphere with whispers from afar.
Aldgate and St Mary’s Axe
At Aldgate Square, Jocelyn McGregor hosts five 15-minute readings from The Picnic, her ‘horror’ fictional diary inspired by her work Earthing. Using her body as a gateway between the human and natural world, McGregor imagines a more permeable boundary between the two worlds. One featuring hybrid creatures including giant snail shells with human limbs. The live performances with actor Elizabeth Connick take place every hour from 6.30pm to 10.30pm and feature a diary extract of a solo hiking trip taking a disturbing turn.
And over at 70 St Mary’s Axe, Elisa Artesero has commissioned performance company, Meraki Collective to respond to the poem that inspired her artwork, The Garden of Floating Words. A new score featuring a violinist has been specially created for these Nocturnal Creatures performances, together with a live performance with choreographer/performer Emmy Lahouel, performer Laura Edwards and multi-instrumentalist and producer Alan Keary. These performances are a conventional and unusual mix, as well as being a little unexpected. They run for 15 minutes at 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm and 9.30pm.
Take part in the art
Meanwhile, mounted on The Leadenhall Building is We, a neon text work by Emma Smith. Using the aesthetics of broken neon, the letter ‘L’ falters to reveal two statements WE ARE ALL ONE and WE ARE ALONE. Both lines hold a paradox in being both singular and collective. Hear a live reading at 6.15pm or 7.15pm of a collectively contributed poem created by Smith with help from Cambridge residents. It reflects on what it means to be a ‘we’. And you can contribute your own reflections to a new poem gathered on the night.
At Fenchurch Street Station Plaza, Alice in Wonderland inspires the performances taking place around Jun T. Lai’s lotus-flower-shaped Bloom Paradise sculptures. To the artist, everyone in this wonderland is a beautiful flower. Three 30-minute performances starting at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm see dancers dressed in Alice costumes, roller skating between the sculptures. They’ll imitate the flight of butterflies and echo this legendary story. You’re encouraged to dance around the artworks and express yourself through sound by listening to the electronic version of Für Elise.
Pedro Pires’ sound installation, Oasis, fills Mitre Square with soundscapes relating to the concepts of Human and Nature. Themes also found in his sculpture Habitat. He aims to create a space of abstraction away from city life, to encourage you to react intuitively. Amongst the sounds playing during the evening are a heartbeat and a river flowing, as well as an earthquake and a thunderstorm.
Tours and sculptures
During the evening, Sculpture in the City are running their popular tours, lead by SitC team members, City of London guides and Guest tour guests. But do book in advance for these. In addition, Bloomberg Connects 11th edition multimedia guide activates during the evening, bringing the sculptures to life through a self-guided audio tour, with sound clips from the artists.
The 11th edition of Sculpture in the City serves as a backdrop to this special evening. This year-long outdoor public art exhibition showcases 20 works by established and emerging artists. Artists participating include Shezad Dawood, Sarah Lucas, Jesse Pollock and Ugo Rondinone. Alongside these are six artworks retained from the 10th edition, including works by Mike Ballard, Alice Channer and Guillaume Vandame. Plus, recent artwork acquisitions by Oliver Bragg and Elisa Artesero.
For more offbeat art, exhibitions and installations, click over here!
When: 23rd July 2022, 6pm – 11pm
Where: Across the City of London
More info: www.sculptureinthecity.org.uk