News article created on 6 June 2016

New artworks planned for River Lee

A flat, empty concrete slab on the banks of the River Lee in Bow is set to be transformed by a large-scale sculpture by renowned artist Michael Craig-Martin.

An image of a wheelbarrow sculpture next to the River Lee River Lee, copyright Michael Craig Martin

The Square is an exciting new project on The Line, the sculpture walk that links Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with The O2 along east London’s waterways. The walk already includes works from the likes of Antony Gormley and Damien Hirst.

The Square will create a new focal point on the River Lee and its launch will celebrate the opening of the London Legacy Development Corporation’s Twelvetrees Ramp – a Leaway project – resulting in a continuous river walk from two of The Line’s most popular destinations: Three Mills and Cody Dock. The opening of the ramp will completely transform people's experience of walking The Line.

You decide

We are inviting the public to choose which one of three works should be installed, with a choice between Craig-Martin’s Hammer (2011), Pitchfork (2013) or Wheelbarrow (2013), via the website and app ArtStack. Voting is now live and the deadline for registering your vote is 12 June.

In 2014, in order to initiate the project, The Line crowdfunded over £140,000 on the civic crowdfunding platform, Spacehive. The Line is currently privately financed through generous gifts from private donors and foundations as well as support from The Line’s official insurance partner, Liberty Specialty Markets. 

In order to realise The Square on The Line we are now launching a second campaign and we are appealing to the public for their support. Our Spacehive crowdfunding campaign is part of the Mayor’s Civic Crowdfunding Programme and The Line is hoping to attract Mayor of London funding. 

World-class art work

Tim Eastop, executive producer of the Canal & River Trust’s Arts on the Waterways programme, says: “We’re delighted that Michael Craig-Martin is making one of his works available for people to visit on the River Lee. 

"It’ll turn a space that is currently nothing more than a slab of flat concrete into an amazing, world-class art work. Any of the three sculptures would transform this waterway site and brilliantly fit into the idea behind The Line. 

"Each one is like a line drawing turned into a giant sculpture. The Line has been a fantastic innovation for the waterways of east London. Whether you’re walking, boating or cycling along the water’s edge, every so often a sculpture will appear out of nowhere. With the good weather now here, I highly recommend you explore The Line for yourself, and get involved by voting for the sculpture you’d like to see appear.”