Five years ago, London’s first official and permanent public art walk was launched: The Line, a trail of sculptures running along three miles of waterways. Every year, artworks disappeared and new installations arrived in their place. As walks go The Line is neither straight nor straightforward, following the path of the Greenwich meridian between Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2, with limited signage.
There is a now new way to walk the line without ever getting lost. To celebrate its fifth birthday, mark International Sculpture Day and cope with the obvious barrier of the lockdown, The Line is going online. In collaboration with children’s arts charity House of Fairy Tales, it has launched a new interactive map which will guide you through each art installation. Click on the numbered dots and you’ll be given the story behind sculptures like Alex Chinneck’s immense 35-metre-tall latticed steelwork ‘A Bullet from a Shooting Star’ or Laura Ford’s ’Bird Boy’, a lonely figure of a lost child in a bird costume that stands on the edge of a pontoon in the Royal Docks.
As The Line is as much about exploring the city’s docklands and waterways as it is about art, the map includes a guide to the area’s wildlife. You can find out about the seal population in the Thames or pay a digital visit to Bow Creek Ecology Park. There are little nuggets of history in there too, like the story of the 20 baby elephants who were imported to George V Dock, or the eighteenth-century pirate executions on Greenwich Peninsula.
The map is a great way to plot your path for when you visit the trail post-lockdown. For now, you can use it to walk The Line, anytime.
Find the interactive map of The Line here.
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Take a digital stroll through The Painted Hall in Greenwich.