Sean Scully unveils first permanent public sculpture in London at Hanover Square
18 April 2023
Landline, a major new work Sean Scully RA, was unveiled on Tuesday 18 April 2023 to mark the formal completion of Hanover Square, one of the oldest and most important civic spaces in London, following a transformational redevelopment. The work will be the artist’s first permanently installed sculpture in London.
The sculpture brings together layers of colored marble into a single compressed tower that reflects the deep layers and sediments of history and lived experiences of the diverse people that Hanover Square and London’s West End represents. The selected marbles translate the layered landscape of Hanover Square itself, the new gardens and surrounding buildings – the grey, sand and ochre of the footways and buildings, and the greens and blue-greens of the trees. Compressed together they create a chord that reflects the musical history of the area – the Hanover Music Rooms and Handel’s connections with Brook Street and St George’s Church.
Sean Scully said: “The marble is a natural material that is taken from the ground and has, as a consequence, a profound relationship with Nature. The colors that I've chosen serve to reflect the everchanging, quixotic nature of the London sky, which informs the daily ambiance of Hanover Square, where people live and work."
Cllr Adam Hug, Leader of Westminster City Council, said: “Millions of visitors, as well as our own residents, enjoy the many open spaces that make Westminster the unique place it is. Hanover Square, one of London’s first formal squares, is a gem in the heart of the City and the overhaul and reinvention of this location makes it sparkle even more brightly. The impressive artwork by Sean Scully will prove just one more reason why people want to spend time here. As the Elizabeth Line brings more people into the area, the revamped Hanover Square is a place to spend time in whether you are a resident, a visitor heading to see nearby art galleries or an office worker looking for a pause in the middle of the day. It has been a pleasure to partner with NWEC on this development, and I look forward to Hanover Square being a key draw for the millions who visit the West End and for residents to enjoy.”
Dee Corsi, Chief Executive, New West End Company, commented: “The unveiling of Sean Scully’s sculpture today marks the completion of the transformation of Hanover Square, where private and public sector bodies have come together to significantly enhance the quality of public realm provision in the West End. Not only has this square become a celebrated gateway into London’s West End and a tranquil haven where you can watch the world go by, it also marks the entry point to the internationally renowned gallery quarter of Mayfair, making it an even more fitting destination to become the permanent home to this major public art commission.”
Hanover Square was one of the first formal open spaces to be laid out in London during the Georgian period, began in 1714 and built between 1717-19. Over the past 10 years, the Square has undergone a complete transformation to prepare for the arrival of the Elizabeth Line and a new entrance for Bond Street Station, located in the north west corner of the Square. Following the initial design phase, work began on the renovation of the Square in 2016 and the gardens were restored and completed in September 2021. Inspired by the landscaping of the gardens, Landline will act as a meeting place and a beacon, guiding visitors towards Mayfair, one of the world’s most dynamic gallery districts, featuring over 150 galleries alongside the Royal Academy of Arts.
The scheme has been led by Westminster City Council, supported by New West End Company, and in partnership with Great Portland Estates, Transport for London, Crossrail, the Crown Estate, Clivedale/Indiabulls, Fenwick, and other neighbouring landowners and developers, to ensure the city’s historic places remain a well designed part of London’s vision for the future. The design was created and delivered by a multidisciplinary team, commissioned by Westminster City Council, and included Publica, WSP, FMC Conway, and NRP.
Photography by David Levene.