Entwined Histories

Submitted by Gary Drostle


Client: Poplar HARCA

Location: London, United Kingdom

Completion date: 2012

Artwork budget: $40,000

Project Team


Gary Drostle

Drostle Public Arts Ltd

Art Consultant

Marcel Baettig

Bow Arts


Jenny Hunte

Poplar HARCA


A mosaic sculpture for a housing project in Poplar, east London, UK. The brief was to reflect on the local area, its history and its community. Two factors inform the design: the former use of the site as one of the London Docks main rope making factories; the wide range of migrant communities that have arrived in the area for many centuries. The design represents different communities as strands of the rope, each represented through a fabric pattern, all the communities entwined together to form a stronger whole. The communities include: Ashkenazi Jews; Huguenots; Chinese; West African; Eastern European; Bengali.


The design of the work was integrated into the local landscaping scheme through close collaboration with the landscape design team.


The client was closely involved at each stage of the design and fabrication process of the artwork. The project began with a research phase looking into local history, this was followed by a series of design and mosaic workshops with local school children looking at the various local communities and textile patterns associated with them.

Additional Information

The artwork was awarded the 'Best in Show' award at the 'Mosaic Arts International 2013' in Tacoma, Washington.