A number of bold and intricate structures have appeared in the City. Sculpture in the City's 2017 selection includes pieces by Paul McCarthy, Ryan Gander and Damien Hirst. We were lucky enough to catch up with Stella Ioannou, Co-director of Sculpture in the City and Director of Lacuna Projects to discuss this innovative project.
Please tell us about Sculpture in The City. Sculpture in the City is an annual public sculpture programme that places contemporary art works in unexpected spaces in the City of London’s insurance district. Now in it’s seventh year the project has just launched with 16 artists in 20 locations, six of which are new sites. The outdoor exhibition, on site until May 2018 includes works from internationally renowned artists. Their work will be displayed amongst some of Britain’s most famous buildings, including The Leadenhall Building, also known as the ‘Cheesegrater’, and for the first time, the Lloyd’s building by Richard Rogers.
What’s your daily routine like? The nature of my work means there isn’t a real routine as it depends on the project or projects I am working on at the time. For example every June revolves mostly around installing the artworks for Sculpture in the City while now in July we typically have a big launch, conduct many tours of the project to our City partners, journalists, art lovers and the general public. Throughout the year I visit art shows, galleries and meet many artists to ensure I am always up to date with what is happening in the arts, and of course fundraising and securing new project partners happens at all times of the year.
What inspired you to get into London’s vibrant Art scene? I trained as an architect but have always been passionate about art and the opportunity of looking at how to install contemporary sculpture in such an architectural space was a great challenge. The most exciting thing about the project is that not only do I get to spend a lot of time with some of the most fascinating artists, I get to work in a constantly evolving urban gallery space with new spaces opening up every year. And who cannot love the City of London with it’s layers of time so perfectly written in the area with the most beautiful churches nestled amongst the architectural icons in the area.
Where are your favourite places to have a meal in London? I spend a lot of time in the Square Mile and my newest favourite space is the Ivy City Garden which is right next to the Gavin Turk artwork Ajar in St Botolphs without Bishopsgate churchyard. I also enjoy Modern Pantry on Finsbury Square which sits right on the edge of the City and never disappoints whatever time of day it is. Outside the Square Mile, Moro in Exmouth Market is an all time favourite with RoK on Upper Street.
What artists are you listening to at the moment? Laura Marling, and a lot of Max Richter which never fails to soothe on the more intense work days. I also listen to Greek music and am currently enjoying Eleni Tsaligopoulou who I recently saw live at the Royal Festival Hall.
What is your favourite place to visit in the Square Mile? Well of course the sites of Sculpture in the City are favourites but it is a joy to just wander around exploring the back streets, discovering brand new building. The City is ever changing, ever evolving this makes it a very exciting place to work in and show to newcomers. I am currently enjoying showing visitors the peace tent at the back of St Ethelburg’s on Bishopsgate which most people don’t know about.
Do you have any special collaborations or projects coming up? There’s always something in the pipeline and at the moment I am very excited about the potential of an art commission for a brand new development and a co-commission initiative for Sculpture in the City. Alongside that and after the summer break, I am looking forward to the new ‘Call for Submissions’ for Sculpture in the City 2018.