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Inspiring arts. Enhancing culture.

Come and explore the rich variety of artworks that adorn the Park, inspiring a spirit of creativity and cultural adventure.

From the very outset, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has included artworks as part of its architecture and landscape; instilling a sense of local pride and cultural ambition through the inclusion and creation of world-class art. 

Arts and culture projects involving local communities will continue as the Park evolves, including poetry performances, a mobile artist studio, free workshops and talks, festivals and further art commissions to take their place throughout the Park, and in the surrounding areas. 

The Local Programme is a new initiative run by the Park's Regeneration and Community Partnerships team to ensure that there are a range of year-round events and activities on the Park that are locally connected.

We have already commissioned 13 projects in our first round ranging from artist residencies, participatory workshops and recycled instrument performances to open mic sessions, night time fairytale performances and a beautiful audio trail; you can find out about each one of these below.

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Image of Spoke young poets

Spoke is a new visionary poetry and spoken word programme that will offer people in east London an opportunity to watch, perform and develop careers in spoken word and performance poetry in and around the Park.

Commissioned for the Park and surrounding areas, the programme is being developed by A New Direction together with Spread the Word and Apples and Snakes.
 
Spoke has created the post of the first ever Young Poet Laureate for London, a flagship initiative to support the young voices of the capital.

Visit the Spoke website

Two kilometres of artworks created for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park hoardings with the active participation of local communities, businesses and schools over one year.

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Run

Image of Run artwork installation at night

Internationally renowned artists Monica Bonvicini designed three 9m tall letters forming the word RUN out of glass and stainless steel as a flagship artwork for the Park. In daylight, the letters act as a mirror for visitors and their surroundings, at night the letters glow with reflective internal LED lighting.  

Bonvicini’s inspiration for the work came from musical references such as ‘Running Dry’ by Neil Young and the Velvet Underground song ‘Run Run Run’, which have also influenced her previous work. Inspired by the many uses of the Park, it was a natural choice to return to the word ‘run’ for this permanent work. 

 

Poetry around the Park

The spark catchers

A series of permanent poems installed throughout the Park, including new five poems commissioned for the Park as well as one existing poem nominated by the public.  

You can find these engraved and carved around the Park – Tennyson’s Ulysses outside Chobham Academy, Lemn Sissay’s The Spark Catchers and Carol Ann Duffy’s Eton Manor in the north of the Park, Jo Shapcott’s Wild Swimmer along the Park’s waterways, Caroline Bird’s The Fun Palace on the Podium in the south of the Park, and John Burnside’s Bicycling For Ladies near Lee Valley VeloPark. 

One Whirl

Image of one whirl art installation

Martin Richman

This commission by Hackney-based artist Richman, is inspired by the energy of the Games, and the flow of the water that runs through the Park. It can be seen on the bridge towards the Timber Lodge Café in the north of the Park and has been created from recycled glass.

History Trees

Image of history trees art installation

This major art commission by renowned British artists Ackyroyd and Harvey consists of the planting of ten semi-mature trees, each supporting a large bespoke metal ring, to mark the entrances to the Park.  

Each tree has a large bronze or stainless steel ring – 6m in diameter and weighing up to 500kg – securely suspended within the tree canopy, and over time the branches and ring will slowly fuse together.  Each ring is engraved on the interior with text capturing the specific history of each location. 

History Trees has been supported by Arts Council England.

Fantastic Factology

Image of factology art installation

Klassnik Corporation, We Made That, Riitta Ikonen

A series of plaques on benches across the Park, each displaying a ‘fantastic fact’ which were gathered from the public during workshops and events in spring 2011.

Nuggets of knowledge, from astrology to zoology, draw on the broad experience of the local community and global specialists from a variety of fields. These will be statements to excite, bewilder, inform and inspire for years to come.  

Visit the website at www.fantastic-factology.com.

Knowledge Plaques

Image of knowledge plaques art installation 

A series of beautifully made bronze plaques are sited throughout the Park’s walkways, sharing information on the Park’s wildlife, history, design and architecture. Each plaque is illustrated with a raised image, perfect for making a rubbing and taking home as a souvenir of your day in the Park.

lfo Spectrum

Image of representing lfo spectrum artwork

Carsten Nicolai

This artwork which can been seen from a distance next to the Velodrome was created by internationally renowned artist Nicolai, who transformed the five Olympic rings into a low frequency oscillation sound wave. Using the colours of the sunset the artwork was digitally printed onto this security fence and creates a visual landmark for the north of the Park.

Cross and Cave

Heather and Ivan Morison created these new artworks which sit in the Tumbling Bay playground in the north of the Park. Inspired by caves and shelters, the sculptures feel like urban relics among the new parklands. 

A film about the making of the artworks, directed by 19 year old Muzzammil Hashmi, and worked on by young filmmakers from East London alongside Eelyn Lee Productions, was commissioned to document its creation. 


Since 9/11

New York artist Miya Ando was commissioned by UK-based educational charity Since 9/11 to create an artwork to commemorate the 9/11 attacks in New York. The artwork, which is located close to the London Aquatics Centre, was formed from a piece of 9/11 Twin Towers steel recovered from Ground Zero in New York, gifted to the UK by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2010. The charity’s 9/11 Education Programme, founded by the charity teaches students about the events, causes and consequences of 9/11, and encourages respect and harmony between young people of all faiths, religions and races.

Local Programme

A new series of cultural activities, events and projects from local individuals, groups and organisations.

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Cultural East London

The Park supports the area’s creativity, providing opportunities for local artists and inspiring future generations.

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