Posted: Mon Apr 10 2006
Traffic Light Tree
Exhibit 6 Traffic Light TreeNegotiating London’s ever-changing road layouts can be challenging at the best of times, but on Heron Quays roundabout on the Isle of Dogs motorists don’t encounter one set of traffic lights but 75. Designed by Paris-born artist Pierre Vivant (whose other works include a series of aluminium sculptures decorated with road sign designs for a roundabout in Cardiff), and installed in 1998, his 26-foot ‘Traffic Light Tree’ illuminates the area with flashing sequences of red, amber and green. Replacing one of three plane trees on the roundabout that was choking to death as a result of pollution, Vivant’s sculpture was not only designed to mimic a tree structure, but to reflect the energy of the developing Canary Wharf area. Whether it also provokes humour or horror in confused motorists is debatable.Heron Quays roundabout, E14. Heron Quays tube/DLR.
Monument to HodgeSitting on the dictionary his master Samuel Johnson compiled, outside the house in Gough Square where he compiled it, bronze tomcat d dHodge has been resident since 1997, and had to have his fixings strengthened following attempts to catnap him.East side of Gough Square, EC4.Blackfriars tube/rail.
Little Brown DogNicola Hicks’s bronze canine in Battersea Park continues the memory of the little brown terrier, whose killing by vivisectionists in 1902 kick-started the anti-vivisection movement. South of the Parade in Battersea Park, SW11. Battersea Park rail.
Prospero and ArielCreated in 1933 by Eric Gill for the exterior of Broadcasting House, this carved relief is rumoured to have provoked complaints about the size of Ariel’s manhood, causing the then director general of the BBC to ask Gill to ‘amend’ it. Broadcasting House, Portland Place, W1. Oxford Circus tube.
Oscar WildeA 1998 bronze sculpture by Maggi Hambling on Adelaide Street, near Trafalgar Square, shows the great Wilde seemingly rising out of his coffin, fag in hand. He might as well give up the nicotine as his cigarette is always being stolen. Adelaide St, W2. Charing Cross tube/rail.
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