Going under in Canary Wharf
The Standard - 13 April 2012
Robert Mendick | Evening Standard13 April 2012
It's a sinking feeling that banks at Canary Wharf sadly know only too well.
Just a few hundred yards from the European headquarters of bankrupted Lehman Brothers, a capsizing yacht forms part of an art installation that will be seen on the Thames and around the docks of London.
Two years in the planning, it is pure serendipity that a sinking boat should have been put in place in Docklands during the banking crisis.
The work, Love-Love, is by French artist Julien Berthier, who is pictured on board at South Dock. He will remain there for most of the weekend before abandoning ship and departing for Paris.
Lehman Brothers headquarters is somewhere over his shoulder among the skyscrapers that make up Canary Wharf.
The yacht has a motor and can travel up and down the Thames in its pictured state. It is understood the piece has been sold for about £50,000.
The installation forms part of Drift 08, the first art exhibition to be staged on the Thames.
It opens today and will run until 19 October and include artworks at Blackfriars, the Millennium Bridge and London Bridge as well as on a barge near HMS Belfast and on a buoy near the Globe Theatre.
The exhibition's curator, Caroline Jones, told the Evening Standard: "I always thought that the capsizing yacht is an optimistic piece because it never sinks."
The banking sector should at least take heart from that.
DRIFT - Transforming the river Thames through culture by various artists
This ambitious project brought together artists and audiences in a unique way. In 2008 DRIFT was the first contemporary art show to celebrate and be held on London’s lifeline - the river Thames. Seven strategically placed, site-responsive, installations took route along the river, its banks and bridges - and flourished there for six weeks.
Fusing art with the ever-changing natural elements, artists worked alongside marine and structural engineers, scientists, technicians and local authorities, to push boundaries and enhance the cultural regeneration of an undiscovered part of central London.
This dramatic visual landscape, set out to inspire the public by offering a spectacle for community, national and global audiences. We were overwhelmed by people’s hunger for artistic stimulation on the Thames, so in 2010 we commissioned and produced more artworks and built audience interaction and participation.
We are working towards DRIFT becoming a biennial event on the calendar and are currently looking for financial partners.
Date Pilot in 2006, exhibitions in 2008 and 2010
Location Various central London locations, on bridges, walkways and in the river Thames
Commissioned and Produced by Illuminate Productions. Supported by The Henry Moore Foundation, Arts Council England, Mayor of London, Southwark Council, Canary Wharf Group, City of London, Tate Modern, Better Bankside, Port of London Authority, Transport for London, Canal and City Trust, Network Rail, Docklands Light Railway, Walki and Traxon Technologies.
Key coverage total reach 911 million. Media included: BBC News, Discovery Channel, BBC China, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Independent, The Times, Daily Mail, The Telegraph and The Guardian.
Sinking boat at Canary Wharf
30 September 2008
"Love-Love" by Julien Berthier - Sinking boat at Canary Wharf
In the midst of all this financial chaos, it was rather amusing to find (in a wry sort of way) on my walk to the office "quarterly briefing" this morning to spot this art installation (bizarrely called "Love-Love") twisting in the breeze in the middle of South Dock...It's total coincidence too (barring unprecidented artistic precognition) as it's part of the planned event "Drift 08" taking place along the Thames currently - apparently it is (despite appearances) actually perfectly sea-worthy, and can be moved around powered by an electric motor in exactly this configuration - I bet that raised more than a few eyebrows when it was sailed up the Thames..."Non, non, I am fine! Really!!!" ;)
Apparently, the French artist responsible - Julien Berthier - has actually now sold the piece (although probably not to a wealthy London Banker) for £50,000, but it's staying put for the time being if you want to come and take a peek at it spinning mournfully, perpetually suspended at the moment before total catastrophe...(the boat that is)...
Sinking boat at Canary Wharf
30 September 2008
International Slavery Museum Liverpool
The Museum of Slavery opened in Liverpool in September 2007, attended from dignitaries from all over the world.
Harry Belafonte’s speech about slavery was one of the highlights of the grand gala at St-Georges-Hall. Artist David Begbie was approached earlier this year to work on a sculpture to donate to the museum. “NSLAVE” was auctioned at the opening and raised a substantial amount of money.
Mrs. Roberts is involved in numerous United Kingdom arts projects such as: DRIFT - installations on the River Thames; New Hall Art Collection, Cambridge University - a permanent collection of modern and contemporary art by women artists, with the exhibition of Jamaican women artists at Murray Edwards College in 2010; and the establishment of the International Slavery Museum, forming part of Liverpool's National Museums.
Support for Jamaican artists has now become Theresa Roberts’ main passion and she continues to be involved in various UK arts projects. Ms. Roberts has also launched her own commercial gallery, ‘Black Circle Gallery’ to give exposure to Jamaican artists currently under represented in Europe.
In the pictures: High Commissioner for Jamaica Burchell Whitman, Joline Whitman with Harry Belafonte, Theresa and Andrew Roberts, art critique Edward Lucie-Smith, David and Eva Begbie, donated wire-mesh sculpture 'NSLAVE' 2007, unique artwork.
Summer of ‘84
UK Dinner for Louise Bennet (Miss Lou). Hosted by Ambassador Roberts and her father Percival Williams.
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