A pillar of marble has appeared next to Hanover Square and is the first permanently installed sculpture in London by Sean Scully RA.
Sean Scully RA is an Irish-born American-based artist and has twice been named a Turner Prize nominee, and each of the huge marble slabs is supposed to represent the layers of soil under London.
The description from the artist says that the “selected marbles translate the layered landscape of Hanover Square, the new gardens and surrounding buildings – the grey, sand and ochre of the footways and buildings, and the greens and blue-greens of the trees. Compressed together they create a chord that reflects the musical history of the area.”
Sean Scully, Artist, said: “The marble is a natural material that is taken from the ground and has, as a consequence, a profound relationship with Nature. The colours that I’ve chosen serve to reflect the everchanging, quixotic nature of the London sky, which informs the daily ambiance of Hanover Square, where people live and work.”As a work of public art it’s large and blocky and yes, obviously a construction, but will people look at it as art?
A small interesting engineering aspect is that each block doesn’t sit directly on the one below, but on a small sealant pad which is just about visible in the recesses.
Hanover Square was one of the first formal open spaces to be laid out in London during the Georgian period, began in 1714 and built between 1717-19. Over the past 10 years, the Square has undergone a transformation to prepare for the arrival of the Elizabeth Line and a new entrance for Bond Street station. Following the initial design phase, work began on the renovation of the Square in 2016 and the gardens were restored and completed in September 2021.