Come rain or shine, the panorama from the West Walkway is one of the main attractions of Tower Bridge. Countless photographs are taken from it every single day. A huge number of artists have taken the views as their inspiration. William Lionel Wyllie (1851-1931) portrayed Tower Bridge on its opening day, 30 June 1894. In 1902, William Alister Macdonald (1860-1956) memorialised the Pool of London in a watercolour of same name. Decades later, in 1940, Charles Pears (1873-1958) painted Tower Bridge during the Second World War in Pool of London during Dockland Air Raids. Nigerian-born artist Uzo Egonu (1931-1996) rendered the landmark in Tower Bridge (1969), a bold composition that merged abstraction with a cyclical, bird’s eye perspective. Many other artists captured the Bridge and the views of the Thames. Names like Eve Kirk (1900-1969), James Page-Roberts (b. 1925), Frank Brangwyn (1867-1856), Christopher R. W. Nevinson (1889-1946), Martin Parr (b. 1952) and Hanna Moon (b. 1988). These painters and photographers offer fascinating testimonies of the changing face of London. They make us travel in time and realise that the history of this city stretches back much further than the Victorian era to Roman times. London is where the old and the new meet, side by side. To immortalise the very same views in 2022, Tower Bridge has commissioned English artist Melissa Scott-Miller to paint what she sees from the West Walkway. A Bridge with A View is a celebration of London and an ode to this vibrant city. The project takes place throughout the summer, and will include public workshops and family activities. Visitors to the attraction will be able to observe Melissa painting during their visit and see how the artwork progresses. More about Melissa Scott-Miller and the project here.
Public artists and activists Gillie and Marc‘s latest exhibition is coming to the UK – ‘Chimps Are Family’ – bringing to life the expectation that 80% of the 150,000 chimpanzees across the world will face a population decline of 80% over the next 30 years. To coincide with World Endangered Species Day on Friday 20 May 2022, the free public exhibition located at London Bridge City will feature 28 chimps demonstrating 18 different behaviours such as love, grief, and tool use, illustrating the vast similarities between us and the animals with which we share 98% of our DNA. Well-known in London for their recent public sculpture, ‘The Orphans’, a project that brought awareness and much-needed funds to orphaned baby elephants. Gillie and Marc are now moving the spotlight onto chimpanzees and giving the people of London the chance to get up close and personal with our cousins and save them, before it’s too late. The sculptures are designed to be interactive and engaging and the you are encouraged to get as close as you want, touching their faces, examining their hands, and even giving them a hug. Each of the chimps will be displayed with a QR code where you can learn all about the individual chimpanzee and find important information surrounding conservation. You also have the option to donate funds, or even adopt one of the individual statues, to go directly to saving chimpanzees. WWF are working alongside Gillie and Marc to highlight the importance of working together to protect our one shared home. The sculptures will be celebrated with the hashtags #LoveTheLast and #ChimpsAreFamily to raise unparalleled awareness about the exhibition’s cause across the globe. To help protect the great apes, you can support the work of WWF by donation to the campaign: WWF Chimps are Family.
29 April – 26 June 2022 White Cube Bermondsey White Cube Bermondsey is pleased to present an exhibition by Andreas Gursky featuring new and recent photographs. Produced over the past four years, these works reflect Gursky’s focus on the ‘essential commonality’ of contemporary life, and the forms and structures of global capitalism. Gursky’s subjects – from multinational headquarters to fashion runways, a domestic interior to a political seminar – take on a scale akin to that of history painting. In so doing, Gursky gives spatial precedence to the pressing issues of our age, articulated through expansive scenes that reveal their pictorial complexity. In his new photographs, the artist elaborates upon the role of images in today’s society, addressing the paradoxical nature of the medium and its relationship to the real. As Gursky states: ‘Seeing and the imperative to find images leads me to my subjects, not the other way round.’ More here
The third in our series of self-guided London Bridge Art Walks is now available to enjoy. Start the trail here. It begins at the Tooley Street entrance to Potters Fields Park, travels through Shad Thames to St John’s Churchyard Park and back via London Bridge City to London Bridge Station, taking approximately 60 minutes. Art Walk 3 joins our two previous self guided trails to offer a great way to explore the area, taking in lesser known spaces between our more famous landmarks and celebrating the creativity that inspires modern day London Bridge.
15 September – 7 November 2021 White Cube Bermondsey White Cube Bermondsey is pleased to present ‘Lazarus’, an exhibition of new works by Ibrahim Mahama, including large-scale installation, sculpture, collage and film. The artist’s third show with the gallery, the works come together to address the passage of time, the notion of obsolescence and the potential for regeneration. The artist’s new groups of collages, which vary in size from the monumental to the domestic, are mostly named after recent popular music titles, all of which address the climate crisis, reflecting the urgent global paradigm shift. Made up from archival notes, drawings, and photographs, the collages combine repeated images of silos and bats with colonial-era maps, bank notebooks, orders and ledgers from the 1960s and 70s; all now defunct paper residue. Echoing the formations of bats, which hang in rhythmic rows from the ceiling of the silos, the collages are informed by a lyrical, topographical patterning. When considered in relation to historical colonial domination – and its effects of blotting out, spoiling and appropriating – the collage technique embodies the many troubled aspects of Ghana’s multi-layered past. More here.
London Bridge is one of the capital’s oldest and most iconic neighbourhoods, boasting artistic, medical, historical and maritime connections to events that have shaped the city’s history. Our series of Art Walks have been mapped in order to introduce you to some of these connections, old and new. Self-guided, easy to follow and free, our walks are all outside – apart from London Bridge Station, so please bring a mask to walk through the concourse. Our itineraries: Art Walk 1 (50 mins) Art Walk 2 (60 mins) Art Walk 3 (60 mins) Routes and contents compiled by D. Davies.
Emma Cousin’s figurative paintings feature dynamic, carnivalesque scenarios that explore the space between realism and fantasy, felt experience and communication. Responding to the limitations of language when used to articulate the complexities of human experience and emotions, Cousin considers how we might interact without it, in pre- or post-linguistic states. Taking this idea of ‘the failure of language to the ultimate point’, she imagines how the gestures of the body would now take over. ‘Introductions | Emma Cousin’ is curated by Capucine Perrot, Associate Director, Artist Liaison. See the exhibition.
New FREE online festival to celebrate medical heritage, health and wellbeing in the heart of London Bridge. Join us for this celebration of health and wellbeing in the heart of London Bridge February 17-24, 2021. New for 2021, Medical Culture Festival: Life Saviours Then and Now, is an online festival from the London Bridge Medi-Culture District partners. The online programme of free events includes talks, panel discussions, workshops and walking tours about the history of medicine and the future of health. The full programme is available at teamlondonbridge.co.uk/lifesaviours-events London Bridge has a long history connected with health and well-being, which was institutionalised after the first hospital was established in the area around the 12th century in what is now Southwark Cathedral. Followed by Old St Thomas’s Hospital in the 13th century and Thomas Guy Hospital in the 18th century, this area has seen the Black Death, the Cholera outbreak, the Spanish Flu and more recently the Covid-19 Pandemic. Fascinating, fun and deeply significant to today, the festival tells the story of the people and places that have played their part in the history and development of health and medicine. The programme will appeal to a wide audience, including sessions for families and young people. Places can be reserved at teamlondonbridge.co.uk/lifesaviours. Some events will have limited places available. Find out more here. Places are limited, so book your place today! Partners: Florence Nightingale Museum, Gordons Pathology Museum, Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital, Kings College London, The Old Operating Theatre, London Borough of Southwark, Team London Bridge.
Explore the Fashion and Textile Museum’s popular exhibition, MISSONI ART COLOUR, organised by the MA*GA Art Museum in collaboration with Missoni, with the Museum’s Head of Exhibitions, Dennis Nothdruft. With the founding of their eponymous company in 1953 in Gallarate, Italy, Ottavio and Rosita Missoni changed the fashion world’s – and our – perceptions of the knitted garment forever. The combination of Ottavio’s interest in art, design and colour, and Rosita’s innate sensibility to clothing engendered a whole new approach to dressing. The inaugural Missoni collection, called ‘Milano-Simpathy’, was presented by the couple at the famous La Rinascente store in 1958. A fashion show for the press was staged in 1966; the unconventional use of colour and pattern in knit made it the first of many successful shows over the following decades. Join the Fashion and Textile Museum for this Online Event and discover the creative process of Italian fashion house, Missoni, and the textiles of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, in the context of 20th century fine art. One of the most respected exponents of the ‘Made in Italy’ concept, the work of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni is deeply rooted in modern art, making the Missoni brand distinctive in the world of international fashion. Tickets are £5. Book now.
Tower Bridge may not be open, but there are plenty of activities you can dive into at home! Designed to compliment and enhance your a visit along with your knowledge of Tower Bridge, these family friendly activities are sure to do just that. Children’s Art Week 2020 Learn to marble, make your own comic strip and even try some origami! Learn Semaphore Semaphore is a way of sending messages to people who you can see but are too far away to talk to. Using your arms (or flags), you can spell out words – each position means a different letter. Before the radio was invented, semaphore was used to communicate with ships to check they were ready to pass through. Making a moving Tower Bridge Picture Got a printer, scissors and blutak to hand? Create your own moving Tower Bridge picture with this cut out. Make a stop motion film Recreate the moving bus that jumped over an opening Tower Bridge in 1952! Make an origami boat Thousands of boats pass under Tower Bridge every year. Follow the instructions to make your very own origami flotilla. Dot to dot and colouring sheets Pens and pencils at the ready! Enjoy a series of dot to dots and colouring sheets.