There’s a long swirl of road signs filling the courtyard at Somerset House at the moment, as an art installation by Jitish Kallat.
Ranging from the signs you expect for the local attractions and distances to service stations, they get increasingly surreal with signs out to the farthest reaches of the universe. Whorled (Here After Here After Here) is conceived as a seismic ripple or a galactic whorl, aligned to the Earth’s cardinal north-south directions and spiralling outwards from the centre of the Somerset House courtyard.
You don’t just look at the spiral, but walk through the 168 metre long spiral arms to the centre, as a form of a circular labyrinth.
As you walk through the scrolls, the road signs indicate the distance from Somerset House to over 300 locations across the planet and beyond, pointing to celestial bodies, such as the Moon, Mars, and distant stars in the Milky Way.
It’s kinda fun to wander through the spirals, a sort of celestial mediation not unlike the labyrinths installed in churches, but this time formed from motorway style road signs.
The installation, Whorled (Here After Here After Here) is at Somerset House until 23rd April 2023.
It’s free to visit.