Location: The Shared is located on Carmarthen Place, just off Bermondsey Street and accessed through an archway adjacent to Chapter 72. Another near neighbour and landmark, on Bermondsey Street, is the beautiful and distinctive Fashion and Textiles Museum.
The Shared stands within sight of The Shard. This tall pyramid-shaped structure is the work of sculptor Austin Emery and local residents who, in 2012, took part in on-site sculpting workshops. Using professional carving tools, the people of Bermondsey were able to create their own pieces of unique artwork.
Austin pieced together each individual sculpture adding his own touches here and there but the work that each individual contributed was untouched. The Shared is the culmination of the differences that exist in such a diverse city as London and, in particular, the community of Bermondsey. It is made from Portland and Bath stones, as well as pieces salvaged from historic London buildings such as Westminster Abbey and London Bridge Station.
“… the beauty is in the rawness of the differences between people.” Austin Emery
Commissioned and sponsored by Leathermarket Community Sculpture, Southwark Council, Team London Bridge, Bermondsey Square and Community First.
Austin Emery was born in Canada and was a Bermondsey resident working closely with the community for over 10 years. His contemporary art is heavily influenced by his years spent as a stonemason, where he developed an appreciation for permanent, enduring forms. He works with the ‘social fabric’ of people, materials and space to create public art, telling stories stitched together with stone, which is often reclaimed and recycled, reinvigorating history and creating fresh heritage.
Connections: The unveiling of The Shared, in 2014, was performed by Bermondsey resident and Royal Academician Norman Ackroyd, and the cover that he pulled off the sculpture was made of prints by Zandra Rhodes, founder of The Fashion and Textiles Museum. Coincidentally, they both graduated from the Royal College of Art on the same day.
Zandra Rhodes worked with Joe Swift to design the Greenwood Pocket Gardens on Weston Street and Snowfields by London Bridge Station.