Aiming to create an impactful first impression, the installation will encapsulate the spirit of London as an international centre of art and culture and celebrate the airport as a key gateway into this cosmopolitan metropolis.
The commission, titled Destination London, will be curated by The Line, East London’s public art walk running between the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2. It follows the waterways and the line of the Meridian – connecting Greenwich, Tower Hamlets and Newham – and features an evolving programme of art installations, events and landmarks. In 2020, The Line will celebrate its fifth anniversary with several new installations and commissions, of which Destination London is the first to be announced.
A panel comprising local stakeholders and The Line’s Co-Founder and Director, Megan Piper, will select the artist from among East London’s diverse community of artistic talent.
The commission, which is scheduled to open in spring 2020, is supported by The Mayor of London and Royal Docks Team and supports the #LondonIsOpen campaign.
Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport, said:
“With London’s doors firmly open for international visitors, we want to welcome passengers to our airport, and our city, with an amazing first impression that they won’t forget. Working in partnership with The Line, we think we have an opportunity to create a welcome unlike any other airport, using our walls as a blank canvas to evoke the unique elements of East London.”
“I am excited to see the concepts and revealing the commissioned artist whose work will showcase the very best of the thriving capital to arriving visitors, travelling for both business and leisure.”
Megan Piper, Co-Founder and Director of The Line, said:
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to curate a new commission at London City Airport.
“This project is an important moment for The Line as we prepare to celebrate our fifth anniversary in 2020 with a number of new projects and partnerships. Destination London will offer an East London-based artist the opportunity to create an ambitious new work, welcoming visitors to London and highlighting its vibrancy and openness.”
Notes to editors
Destination London is commissioned by London City Airport and curated by The Line, supported by the Mayor of London and Royal Docks Team.
Spearheaded by The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, the #LondonIsOpen campaign states that London will always be open to the world, proud of our diversity and inclusive to everyone.
The Line was established by art entrepreneur Megan Piper and the late regeneration expert Clive Dutton OBE. It launched in 2015, unveiling monumental sculptures along the footpaths of East London’s waterways. These works had previously been hidden away from public view, in storage or in private collections. Since then, through the generous support of sponsors and patrons, The Line has introduced many major works of art by leading artists, to hundreds of thousands of local residents and tourists for free.
The Line was initiated through a crowd-funding campaign that raised over £140,000 in 2014 and, in the subsequent five years, it has run without public funding. The Line has secured a mixed income portfolio of corporates, trusts and foundations (including Garfield Weston Foundation and Bloomberg) and private donors. The project’s success has also been underpinned by the phenomenal in-kind support it has received from its founding supporters, including architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
The Line currently includes works by 8 artists. The majority of these are loans from artists, galleries and private collections but The Line also highlights a number of pre-existing works along the route, including Antony Gormley’s Quantum Cloud. The inaugural loans, which include Damien Hirst, Abigail Fallis and Thomas J Price, came through an open submission and were selected by a panel that included Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger.