The Navigators

by David Kemp (1986)

Location: The Navigators sculpture can be found at Hay’s Galleria, opposite London Bridge station and on the south bank of the Thames, abeam of HMS Belfast, by London Bridge City Pier (alight with Uber Boat by Thames Clippers), and half-way between London Bridge and Tower Bridge.

David Kemp’s The Navigators has been in Hay’s Galleria since 1986. Inspired by the historic wharf, stories of maritime commerce, and Victorian adventures and sea-voyages, Kemp combined Gothic fantasy, sea monsters, man and machine in this kinetic sculpture. The 60-foot artwork was installed during the renovation of Hay’s Galleria and when activated its oars move through the water at its sides.

“I make things out of things, big things, little things, old things and new things. I like to recycle things, and find new uses for things that have been thrown away. Some things say something about their surroundings, and other things become something else.” David Kemp

Commissioned by London Bridge City, in collaboration with the Hay’s Galleria architect, Bob Clements.

David Kemp

For more than 20 years, David Kemp has lived and worked on the exposed Atlantic coast of West Cornwall, inspired by the natural landscape, and by the remains of the tin-mining industry carried out there since medieval times. Living among the ruins, he collects fragments, piecing together curious connections between old and new mythologies and technologies.