A walking trail around the City of London has appeared, dotted with works of public art. This is the 11th almost-annual Sculpture in the City, which will run until later this year. This year’s exhibition is a bit of a pandemic hangover, with seven artworks being left on display from last year’s show, and eleven new sculptures dotted around the city.

There is an official app you can download, but I found it rather useless as the map can’t zoom in/out, so I ended up using the maps that are on each of the display boards to find the next sculpture in the walking trail.

A few of the artworks are a bit harder to find, and there’s enough permanent art in the city that occasionally you mistake one for the other, and at times I was more looking for the distinctive shape of the display boards to tell me that I am in the correct location. I think the hardest to spot without the display boards was the art underneath an escalator, and one at Aldgate Square was either missing entirely or I was utterly useless at finding it.

Apart from the art on display, all for free, the joy of the walk is to wander around the City looking for art and at the same time discovering parts of the city you might not have been into before. Do it very early on a weekend morning and you’ll be able to wander around nearly deserted streets, which is a delight in itself.

It may be better at times not to read the art descriptions, unless you’re carrying some headache pills as I strongly suspect the artist came up with a sculpture and was then asked afterwards to think of some text to explain it.

It’s quite ok to say “I made it because I liked it” rather than adding some weird explanations — quite how a red model of a grain store reflects racism and class division is frankly, utterly baffling. Then again, the story behind the creation of two tall green columns is heartbreaking.

My tip would be to either go to the map on their website and choose a starting point following the trail as shown on the art display boards, or print off the map from the website – not the app — and use that to get around.

It’s a pleasant hour or so of ambling around the city.


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One comment
  1. JP says:

    You’re quite right of course, the simple effort of taking a Sunday morning stroll around the square mile pays dividends galore.
    The stunning architecture which is somehow lost in the weekday crowds is almost exclusively yours to enjoy and all the more enchanting for it.

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