Spitalfields Sculpture Prize

Allen and Overy Building, Bishops Square, 12 January - 12 February 2010.

I was shorlisted for a major prize to create a sculpture to be sited outside Spitalfields Market in the East End of London. Below are pictures of the maquette. For a full description of the proposal, download the pdf. A synopsis is below.

The City Gate Sculpture

Ancient walled cities often have markets outside their major gates. In Jerusalem, for example, a market is still to be found outside Damascus Gate, the most important gate of the Old City. Roman London had six gates: Ludgate, Newgate, Aldersgate, Cripplegate, Bishopsgate and Aldgate. The walls stood for over a thousand years, being added to and partly rebuilt during that time. Bishopsgate leading out to the Old North Road, also known as Ermine Street, was one of the most important gates as it opened to a major route. Spitalfields was established in the mid 17th century a short distance outside the City wall close to the Old North Road and Bishopsgate. At that time the walls were still intact and it was not until nearly 100 years later in 1760 that most of the walls and Bishopsgate were demolished.

Today little remains of the London Wall and nothing is left of the gates except a reminder of their former existence preserved in place names. Rather than trying to design a sculpture nostalgically reflecting the styles of the past, I choose to preserve only the enduring idea of a gateway. To create a connection with the past, and an ongoing sense of progress into the future, I propose a symbolic futuristic arch, representing both Spitalfields connection to its past and its intention to adapt to the future.