Each fortnight we explore a new theme featuring ideas, events, archive material from the collections of our partners across the City. We highlight online events and activities for to mark in your calendar so that you can still enjoy the art, culture and history of the Square Mile from home.
As we have adapted to spending more time in our homes, discover what home was to our prehistoric ancestors, how contemporary artists have responded to the idea of home, listen to poetry reflecting on everyday life in Smithfield and learn how the interior has been used in the depiction of women in art.
The Enchanted Interior
Enjoy a video tour of Guildhall Art Gallery's timely and thought-provoking exhibition, exploring female subjects in art, as depicted in enclosed, ornate interiors. Watch the tour below.
Community of Souls
Poet Murray Lachlan Young, filmed by Charlotte Ginsborg, reads his poem about the everyday interactions of people living, working and passing through the Smithfield area. Delivered by Culture Mile in partnership with Poet in the City. Watch the video below.
Elevated above Wormwood Street on a pedestrian footbridge, stands Do Ho Suh’s ‘Bridging Home, London’, co-commissioned by Art Night and Sculpture in the City in 2018. Curated by Fatoş Üstek and fabricated by The White Wall Company, the piece is a to-scale replica of the traditional Hanok-style Korean house adorned with a bamboo garden, that appears to have ‘fallen’ onto the bridge at an angle.
Do Ho Suh’s architecturally-scaled installations are informed by his personal experiences, that recreate specific domestic spaces that he has resided in, expanding on his ongoing investigations of memory, notions of home and migration, cross-cultural displacement and integration. Learn more about this artwork and Sculpture and the City.
Uncover the history of boudoir caps with curator Lucie Whitmore - a fashion staple for women forced from their homes in the depths of the night as German bombers flew over London during the 1910s. Part of the Museum of London's London's Fashion Alphabet. Watch the video on Facebook.
A house for dolls
Take a peek into a home with a difference, it's for dolls! The 18th century Blackett Dolls' House, named after the family for which it was made, provides a detailed illustration of the organisation and decor of a wealthy household of the time, and is part of the Museum of London's permanent collection. Learn more about this object.
At home in the Barbican
Let your curiosity get the better of you and peek into homes at the Barbican Estate. There are over 2,000 flats, 140 different types of layouts and around 4,000 residents in the estate. With each space as unique as the individual within it, a photography project by Anton Rodriguez satisfied both a longing to know more about his neighbours as well as a desire to capture the essence of the Barbican's brutalist architecture. Click the link above to see Anton's photographs, compiled in the book Residents: Inside the Iconic Barbican Estate. View the photo series by Anton Rodriguez.
"It's more than just the architecture, the concrete and the notoriety, it's a community. There are so many intangibles that make living here unique, and positive" - Matt, Speed House resident
Re-imagining the boundaries between public and private space
Artist Nina Saunders has been fashioning domestic objects into odd and subversive works of art that can take on various readings depending on the context. ‘Abstract Mass’, featured in the 9th Edition of Sculpture in the City, is an armchair made of concrete and stainless steel, which begs the question of displacement. In a diverse city like London, this question gains political, cultural and personal significance. De-contextualised and re-contextualised, the work questions the boundaries between public and private space, between domesticity and domestication, between responding to the city plan and creating a ‘situation’. Learn more about this artwork and Sculpture in the City.