Public Art Comes To Life in Canary Wharf


Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar are the ‘Talking Statues’ ‘Couple on Seat’

Amongst the bustle of shoppers and workers in Canary Wharf’s Cabot Square sits the bronze sculpture ‘Couple on Seat’ by renowned artist Lynn Chadwick. On 19 August, Canary Wharf Group’s ‘Couple’ will become the latest statue in London to be given its own voice as part of the ‘Talking Statues’ project led by Colette Hiller.


Passers-by can swipe their smart phones on a nearby tag to hear the bronze figures come to life with monologues that offer a comedic take on the two sides of a marriage voiced by celebrated British comedians and actors Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar and fabulously written by author of Meatspace and Coconut Unlimited, Nikesh Shukla.


The national Talking Statues initiative animates 35 sculptures in London and Manchester for a year, coupling humorous monologues that have been inspired by each of the individual works of art. The producers, Sing London, have commissioned some of the nation’s most celebrated writers to pen soliloquies for this range of iconic figures, each read and interpreted by a cast of equally talented actors, comedians and celebrities.


This interactive addition to the Canary Wharf cultural landscape offers a unique, engaging interaction with an artistic landmark, in a piece which Syal says will ‘make people think and laugh’. The statues will come to life on 19 August and promise to offer a creative spot on the Estate for people to enjoy a brief escape into the world of ‘Talking Statues’.


Visitors can incorporate a trip hearing from ‘Couple on Seat’ into a whole tour of public sculpture and art, with Canary Wharf’s downloadable art map which uncovers the hidden gems in one of the UK’s largest collections of public art.


There are over 65 artworks and sculptures integrated into the estate, all free to view and produced by some of the most inspired artists, designers and craftsmen of today.


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