Frieze Sculpture London in Regent’s Park

What are you doing this lunchtime? Join Claudia Peifer and our relentless video diary on a walkabout of Frieze Sculpture of London’s largest display of outdoor art. Staged in the English Garden of Regent’s Park (our favourite open air lunchtime destination), ahead of the annual Frieze Art Fair, check out our shortlist of highlights sampled on a summer’s day, when inner city park life turns into a world of its own. It’s great to see people hanging out by their favourite sculpture: chatting with friends (coffee in hand), practicing yoga, picnicking with work colleagues, visiting with the kids, or simply falling asleep on the lawn (Baby on Board jumps to mind), and generally enjoying what an outdoor sculpture park has to offer when you’ve got a bit go time on your hands.

Taking in the atmosphere, Claudia chatted to Ishimwoa, who thinks that there should be a lot more art around generally, as this concept is clearly very successful, adding real value to city life. Hence the phrase #putittoBoris was born…let’s use it to put great ideas forward on social media! The winner of the show, which was clearly our favourite piece, was Zak Ové’s ‘Autonomous Morris’ – a totem-like sculpture made of out car bonnets and other automobile parts, carefully arranged in such a spectacular way, that it resembles a giant head of a hunting bird…brilliant, we think! However, you must watch the programme to judge for yourself.
Frieze Sculpture’s next appointment is at New York’s Rockefeller Centre from 1 September – 2 October 2020, which is not quite the same as Regent’s Park, but still an awesome urban space to hang out at. Go visit, if you can…

Frieze London

Frieze Art Fair is an international contemporary art fair, held not only in London, but also New York and Los Angeles. In London, it is staged in Regent’s Park every October, it has been showing in NY since 2012 and held its inaugural exhibition in Los Angeles in 2019. The fair was launched in 2003 by the founders of ‘frieze’ magazine, Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover. Frieze has over 170 internationally renowned art galleries exhibiting, whilst also commissioning special artist’s projects, furthermore featuring a programme of organised talks and an artist-led education schedule.

Frieze has in the meantime embarked on a second fair, called Frieze Masters. Taking place at the same time as the contemporary Frieze Art Fair, Frieze Masters. Whilst the Frieze art fair concentrates on uniquely created works mainly created from 2000 onwards, Frieze Masters offers a unique view on the relationship between old and new art, mainly focusing on works pre-2000. Hence, Frieze Masters shows a selection of historical art, from collectable objects (Objet d’Art) to masterpieces of great significance. Frieze Masters is divided into 3 sections: the main gallery, spotlight and collections.

Frieze London & Frieze Masters attracts over 60.000 visitors each year, including curators, collectors, artists and gallerists, as well as critics and art lovers in general. Regent’s Park offers a fabulous environment for an art show like Frieze, with its elegantly designed period gardens and large open spaces to practice sports, including cricket fields. It is situated just 10 minutes from London’s West End and Oxford Circus, and has the famous London Zoo situated at its northern end.

Whilst Frieze London has been cancelled for 2020 due to Covid-19, London is looking forward to welcoming back this outstanding art fair in 2021.

Frieze Sculpture

The English Gardens, at the southern end of Broadwalk, is the location for Frieze Sculpture – a ‘free to the public’ outdoor space, hosting London’s largest display of contemporary sculpture art. Curated by Claire Lilley, the director of programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (another famous open air sculpture display in England), it brings together exceptional large-size and outdoor works of international leading artists. Opening ahead of the Frieze London art fair, it allows the public to enjoy art for free throughout the summer, which is used extensively over lunch by all the office workers situated in building complexes like Regent’s Place close by, but also medical professionals from the infamous Harley Street, as well as the BBC and their staff, located with their world headquarters in Upper Regent’s Street.

Frieze Sculpture is also greatly visited by families, teaching the kids to appreciate art, and even interact with it. It’s a world of wonders for the little ones, and offers the chance for them to ‘grow up with art’, making it fun and exciting. Seeing and experiencing large-size works like Robert Indiana’s ‘One Through Zero’ is a treat not just for the kids, whilst Zak Ové’s ‘Autonomous Morris’ portrays an enormous amount of creativity and resourcefulness. Other artists exhibiting at the latest Frieze Sculpture show include LR Vandy, Joann Rajkowska, Tracy Emin, Tai-Jung Um, Lars Fisk, Peter Buggenhout, Vik Muniz, Leiko Ikemura, Jodie Carey, Bill Woodrow, amongst many others.

Frieze Sculpture London is not going to take place in 2020 due to CV-19, but New York will go ahead with showing at the Rockefeller Centre in the autumn.

The Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill

Both one of the most iconic and beautiful outdoor spaces in London, they offer different and unique experiences to all those who want to use them. Both are managed by The Royal Park, and are situated in the north-western part of Inner London, split between the City of Westminster and the Borough of Camden. Whilst Regent’s Park is divided into an inner and an outer ring, Primrose Hill is a single mound, offering the most stunning views of the city that lies below.

Regents’ Park, about 166-hectares in size, was designed by John Nash and James & Decimus Burton. The Nash-Burton designed stucco terraced period properties lining the outer ring are world famous and have been taken as inspiration for elegant city living the world over. Running through the northern end of the park is Regent’s Canal, which connects the Grand Union Canal to London’s historic docks. Regularly used for movies, this location was also used by film director Guy Ritchie for his latest film called ’The Gentlemen’ – an absolute must-watch for favourite London locations. The Queen Mary’s Gardens are a carefully tendered, beautifully planted part of the park, whilst the formal Italina Garden and the informal English Garden provide peaceful rest for those who seek it. The lake boasts paddle boats and a myirad of walk ways, quite apart from the rich wildlife that can be enjoyed walking the parkland.

Home to a vast array of heronry and waterfowl, including countless swan families, the inner circle is also home to London’s Open Air Theatre. It’s a total joy to spend a day in the park, with a show to finish off the day – how very London! The official lodge of the US ambassador to the United Kingsdom, Winfield House, is situated in the western part of the park, nearby the capital’s first large mosque. The diversity of this vast open space is not to be underestimated.

To get to Primrose Hill, you will need to walk past London Zoo at the top of the park, and cross the outer ring, as well as the canal, to get to it. It is well worth those 15 minutes, as you will be richly rewarded with a spectacular view of central London, with the City’s skyscrapers in the East End and the Telecom Tower and the London Eye clearly visible.

There is a very special energy on this hill, which can be frequented by druids during solstice. Bordering to chic living areas like Primrose Hill and Belsize Park and Hampstead further north, you can go celebrity spotting there any day of the week, as nobody seems to be bothering anybody, as this is London after all: ‘cool please’ is the motto in this ‘hood’. But usually, people are walking their dogs, small bubbles of people go picnicking, friends meet and go walking with their Starbucks in hand, which is why so many famous actors living in the vicinity simply dive into the crowd, pushing a pram, going notices or unnoticed, nobody really cares.

Primrose Hill is the ultimate Mary Poppins park, and well worth a visit, as it really does have a special energy – on its summit, you’ll find a Yorkshire stone edging with an inscription by the English poet and painter William Blake, saying: ‘I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill’ – need we say more?


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