Queenhithe Mosaic

Submitted by David Tootill

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Project

Client: City of London Corporation

Location: London, United Kingdom

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $239,751

Project Team

Artist

David Tootill

Artist

David Tootill

Southbank Mosaics CIC

Artist

Tessa Hunkin

Other

Jon Newman

Historian - Independent Consultant

Overview

To bring character and detail to a neglected part of north bank Thames walkway by creating a mosaic timeline of the history of Queenhithe. Size 30m x 1m. To work with Heritage Lottery Fund, City of London Corporation, 4C Hotel Group and a range of experts and artists (300 people on project) to link the site to its roots, and ensure participation by the local community in regenerating their neighbourhood.

Goals

The site was a Scheduled Ancient Monument - the only Anglo-Saxon dock in the world. It looked like a post-industrial space, dominated by concrete. The aim was to ensure the birthplace of the modern city of London, once the busiest dock on the river Thames, made its landmark with the mosaic design. The aim was to add deatil and interest to the site. We included, for example, tiles taken from the river Thames and dated and then placed in date order in the surrounds to the main mosaic images. So we worked with archaeologists, historians, mosaic artists and politicians to ensure the work was accurate, collaborative and enlivening. It is now a jewel in the crown of London.

Process

Collaboration is at the heart of every successful building project and this was basic to our design. Public space is owned by all of us, and we worked with a range of people, from professional architects to young people in trouble with the laws, from academics to those with special needs. We insisted on world class design and art and worked with the best people in the country and region to achieve an elegant, inclusive and engaging installation.