Discover the finest statues in London
July 26, 2022
Lily leads the way
Here in London, we’re lucky to be surrounded by lots of wonderful art. While the galleries in and around Mayfair are particularly impressive, there are plenty of gems to see on public display if you know where to look. Let me lead you through the streets and show you some of my favourite pieces. The works are all permanent fixtures that can be viewed all year round. When you’re ready, follow me.
Helix by Eilis O’Connell
From the comfort of 45 Park Lane, walk down Curzon Street and you’ll soon come across Eilis O’Connell’s woven steel ‘Helix’ sculpture. O’Connell is a fantastic sculptor, well known for her free-standing works and wall pieces. This one is particularly ambitious and has real physical impact. It’s both gigantic and subtle at the same time. It’s amazing what people miss when they’re not looking. The material is interesting too, it feels timeless and elegant and a lovely use of sculpture to create a focal point.
Woman of Samaria by Alexander Munro
From Curzon Street, stroll to nearby Berkeley Square. This is a picturesque spot that’s home to many temporary art installations but one piece you can catch all year round is this beautiful statue by Alexander Munro. It’s the ‘Woman of Samaria’, also known as the ‘Water Carrier’, and depicts a repentant sinner from the bible. The artwork was a gift from Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquis of Lansdowne, in 1858. Berkeley Square also hosts the annual Lapada Art & Antiques Fair and the surrounding area is home to some of the world’s most prestigious auction houses and galleries.
Time-Life Screen by Henry Moore
Next, head to New Bond Street, via Bruton Street, where you’ll find a Henry Moore artwork on the Time-Life building above a Hermes boutique. Moore wanted the sculptural screen to look like it was part of the building so the carvings project out from the rooftop, with light flooding around them. This important piece signals a blending of architecture, art and design. I love the way the sculptures appear to be suspended in the air, just remember to look up as they’re easy to miss.
Horse and Rider by Elisabeth Frink
Continue along New Bond Street until you get to the corner of Burlington Gardens, where you’ll discover Elisabeth Frink’s 1975 bronze ‘Horse and Rider’. This recently restored Grade II listed sculpture’s prominent position in the heart of Mayfair is a significant nod to Frink’s outstanding contribution to British sculpture, a field which is dominated by male artists.
Stream of Spectrum by Antoni Malinowski
For our next stop, turn right into Maddox Street where you’ll find a number of interesting galleries before carrying on to 1 Hanover Street. Look up to see ‘Stream of Spectrum’ by Antoni Malinowski. The coloured glass mosaic tiles represent the subterranean river Tyburn, which flows below Mayfair. The mural is made using the seven light spectrum colours and Malinowski collaborated with Venetian mosaic company Orsoni to make the piece. It captures his love of colour, fluidity and texture perfectly.
Handbag Heads by Bruce McLean
As one of our original 45 Park Lane artists, it’s fitting to include contemporary British artist Bruce McLean in this trail. On the façade of 1 Handover Street you can see his ‘Handbag Heads’, an eye-catching steel sculpture spanning a vast 5 x 10m/16 x 33ft. This was the first piece to be formally commissioned by The Crown Estate as part of the regeneration of Regent Street. McLean is a man of many talents, having gained international recognition for his paintings, ceramics, prints, work with film, theatre and books, and has hosted numerous solo exhibitions.
Three Figures by sculptor Neal French
This next one is particularly good in that it’s tucked away so it’s missed by many passersby. If you go along Brook Street and turn into Bourdon Place, you’ll be rewarded by the sight of ‘Three Figures’. These represent photographer Terence Donovan on a fashion shoot with model Twiggy, and a shopper who is walking past them. This secret spot is where Donovan had his studio and is a tribute to his work in fashion photography.
Mount Street gardens
Now you’ve reached the end of our trail, take a well-earned rest on one of the many benches in Mount Street Gardens. This little park is a real oasis surrounded by the busy streets of Mayfair and where you’ll often find temporary sculpture exhibitions. It’s also home to the striking 1849 Church of the Immaculate Conception, which is a real Victorian Gothic extravaganza of a church. From here, walk back to 45 Park Lane along South Audley Street, perhaps taking in some of the fine art galleries along the way.
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