Canary Wharf will become home to a number of sculptures by artist Nigel Hall – whose work will be familiar to east London drivers.
For the artist, who celebrated his 73rd birthday recently, is best known for the sculpture that adorns the exterior of the Limehouse Link tunnel, perhaps a nod to his fascination with hollow ovals.
Now his work comes closer to home with a number of pieces already installed in outdoor locations around Canary Wharf, including at Westferry Circus and Cabot Square as part of the Orbits and Ellipses exhibition.
And there will be more to come on Monday, September 12, when pieces are installed in the lobby at One Canada Square.
The sculptures are a collection spanning 30 years during which time Nigel has been exploring the ellipse, an oval resulting from the intersection of a cone by a flat surface.
It was Nigel’s years as a student, studying at West Of England College Of Art and Royal College Of Art in the early 1960s, that provided him with the inspiration.
Nigel said: “While travelling in Italy during my student days, I bought, quite cheaply, a beautiful terracotta pot. It turned out to be Roman and I began a modest collection of such things – Greek, pre-Columbian, Persian, Korean.
“I have always found their forms satisfying, sensuous and tactile. They also embody aspects of the ellipse, and empty volume is their reason for being.
“They relate in many ways to my sculpture and have almost certainly influenced me.”
The ellipse is a form that can be stretched and condensed, with the ovals able to cut into one another to create other shapes.
Nigel works in bronze, steel and wood to create large and small sculptures and uses a variety of colour from the red of weathered Corten steel to painted pieces in black, blue and yellow.
His work has featured in a number of institutions including Tate London, and has sculptures at the eastern portal of the Limehouse Link tunnel and Bank Of America.
Canary Wharf Group curator Ann Elliott has worked with Nigel since the 1970s.
She said: “It has been a great privilege to work on this exhibition with Nigel. I have long admired his work and in particular its underlying complexity that is concealed by apparent simplicity of form.
The exhibition at One Canada Square begins on Monday, September 12, and ends on Friday, November 18.
The five sculptures shown at Westferry Circus and Cabot Square are available to see until Friday, October 21.
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