Two men and a dog work on a lock gate destined never to open. We take a look at London's latest sculpture.
Walked along City Road recently? The road is unrecognisable from its appearance a decade ago. A half-dozen recent skyscrapers have transformed the skyline.
One of them — the tallest, it seems — is 250 City Road, a Norman Foster-designed residential tower for Berkeley group, about half-way along on the south side of the road.
Most huge developments come with a sculpture or two these days, and 250 is no exception. The debut piece is by Ian Rank-Broadley. It's known as 'Opening the Lockgate', and depicts an attempt at just that.
Why canal workers? Well, across the road, behind another pair of towers, is the City Road Basin, once an important hub of the Regent's Canal. The sculpture is both geographically and temporally fitting, since the canal reaches its 200th birthday this year.
Rank-Broadley has been commissioned to provide three sculptural groups for the development, of which this is the first. Two further pieces, depicting a 'barge woman' and a 'barge horse and canal worker' are promised in 2021 and 2023, respectively. They'll join London's impressive collection of working-class statues, which we've documented before on these pages.
The top two images are courtesy of Berkeley. We did pop out to get our own photographs of the new sculpture but were stymied by a modern day workforce putting some finishing touches to the walkway. Here's the best we could do: