Sculpture In The City 2022: Art Returns To The Streets

By M@ Last edited 22 months ago

Last Updated 20 July 2022

Sculpture In The City 2022: Art Returns To The Streets
A bright orange granary structure on stilted mushroom legs, in a city centre
The Granary, by Jesse Pollock. One of the more colourful sculptures this year.

Track down all 20 sculptures around the Square Mile.

One of London's best annual traditions is back for its 11th year. Sculpture in the City places large works of art in prominent locations around the Square Mile — all free to visit.

This year's event sees 20 installations, by such artists as Sarah Lucas and Eva Rothschild. The sculptures are scattered across the eastern parts of the City of London, all within easy walking distance of one another.

Two large bronze pins protrude from a pavement
Bosco Sodi's 'Untitled'. This is one of those sculptures that looks only mildly diverting, but be sure to read the accompanying interpretation for the work's dramatic origins.

As art festivals go, it must be one of the most-visited in the country, given the millions of people who pass along the busy City streets each week. We'd recommend saving your exploration for the weekend, when you'll find the pavements much quieter — all the better to contemplate the art work.

A white tree protrudes from the ground, with the Gherkin in the background
Ugo Rondinone's "summer moon" in front of the Gherkin. It's a cast of an olive tree, but anyone who's seen Blade Runner 2049 might make different associations

In truth, this isn't a vintage year, with about a third of the sculptures remaining from 2021's crop, while some of the newer ones failed to whelm. You'll have to properly search for a few of these works — one is hidden beneath the Cheesegrater's escalators, while one of the Leadenhall pieces does not tally with the map. Still, as ever, you will find a few humdingers among the collection.

A large snail shell with bronze human legs, sitting on a rock
Jocelyn McGregor's anthropomorphic snails, at Aldgate square. This one appeared in May, when we captured further images
A bench plaque lamenting the memory of wealth being the reward of hard work
Returning from last year (with a few additions, we think) are these amusing bench plaques by Oliver Bragg. Pleeease let these remain in permanent place.
A giant concrete sandwich
Sarah Lucas's "Sandwich". An acquired taste? The actual art here is in the hilariously (and deliberately?) artspeaky interpretation: "...Lucas ambiguously transposes the humble sandwich on a monumental scale with a metaphoric and literal sense of hyperbole; simultaneously satirising and celebrating the commonplace foodstuff as a proletariat symbol."
A number of colourful birdboxes dangle from tree limbs
Victor Seaward's fruit-like birdboxes hang from trees in a couple of locations. This isn't art that will stop you in your tracks, but it does have a commendable purpose. Another installation we'd love to see stick around permanently.
A steel abstract sculpture among buildings
A colourful abstract called "Cosmos" from Eva Rothschild. Sadly, it's placed among the shadows of tall buildings so doesn't shine to its full potential (a problem with several sculptures this year).

Sculpture in the City is in the Square Mile, between Leadenhall Market and Aldgate, until spring 2023. You can turn up any time and wander round for free. An app and online map will help you navigate, and each site has a physical map and interpretation to help you find and understand the sculptures.