Art of London transforms West End with giant public art takeover

Thursday 12 October: Art of London, the award-winning cultural initiative from Heart of London Business Alliance, today celebrates the return of Art After Dark with a colourful public art takeover in Leicester Square Gardens and a display in Piccadilly Circus inspired by performance artist Marina Abramović.

To mark the free late-night arts programme featuring over 30 art galleries, a giant inflatable sculpture by British contemporary MTArt artist Claire Luxton has been installed in Leicester Square. Visually striking and towering over the capital’s entertainment district, ‘The Cornucopia’ reaches an incredible height of 7m and stretches over a total area of 70m.

Painted in playful colours of purple, green, pink and orange, and lit up with LED lighting throughout, Luxton’s new installation will bloom from the ground to symbolise growth, beauty and the vibrant modern energy of the West End.

Leicester Square Gardens is also displaying an illuminated installation by MTArt poetic artist Robert Montgomery, who fuses art and design in a poem titled ‘The People You Love’. Montgomery’s evocative installation is an expression of sorrow and of love in a time of loss.

On the Piccadilly Lights on Friday 13th October there will be a digital display inspired by the work of iconic performance artist Marina Abramović. Set to light up the screens of the Piccadilly Lights as night falls, the display combines images from ‘Four Crosses’ 2019, an installation featured in the Marina Abramović exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, along with a selection of instructional statements taken from the ‘Marina Abramović Method’. These statements are designed to teach the artist’s method for reaching a higher consciousness and confronting life’s challenges.

Art After Dark, created in partnership with Westminster City Council, Landsec and Mayfair Art Weekend, will feature London’s most acclaimed independent galleries shaking up the art scene on Thursday 12th October, including Stern Pissarro, Cristea Roberts, and Saatchi Yates as part of an entertaining night out in London’s cultural district. On Friday 13th October, members of the public can absorb the culture at the National Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts and the National Portrait Gallery, which has just announced a series of Frieze Masters Talks. Art After Dark is part of London Creates’ campaign to boost the arts sector and throughout the late-night art programme, culture seekers can visit world-class restaurants and bars with many establishments offering special offers.

Claire Luxton, MTArt artist, said: “It’s such a joy to share my new installation ‘Cornucopia’ to celebrate Art After Dark. I wanted the immersive installation to use light, colour, form and scale, to create a playful environment for people to explore and be transported to a moment of pure escapism.”

Robert Montgomery, MTArt artist, said: “Leicester Square is where Soho meets the theatre so it’s the true heart of London, a square where nocturnal magic happens – where the stage and reality merge. For me, it’s where the ghost of Lillie Langtry dances with the ghost of Oscar Wilde. If you come down to see my light poem you might just glimpse them dancing in the shadows.”

Mark Williams, Director of Art of London, said: “Art After Dark has opened up London’s vibrant art scene to evening culture seekers who can experience spectacular exhibitions, bars and restaurants when visiting the West End. We’re delighted to collaborate with so many talented artists and bring spectacular art to the West End for members of the public to enjoy.”

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, said: “I am delighted that Art After Dark is returning to light up the West End with striking installations and the opportunity to enjoy our fantastic art galleries out of hours. By showcasing this work in the heart of our city, we are once again showing why we are a world-leading arts capital, as we build a better London for everyone.”