Sculpture for The Shard (with Renzo Piano)
Shard Quarter Plaza, London Bridge Station, Southwark, London
2011 – 2012
Preliminary painted studies, models and visualisations for an unexecuted public artwork designed by Brian Clarke, in collaboration with architect Renzo Piano, for the plaza at the base of The Shard, which developed through sketches, paintings and models into a proposal for a monumental stained glass and linear bronze sculpture, what Clarke called 'a cathdral of colour, glowing and visible from all viewing corridors as you approach London Bridge Station'.
The design process, including the drawings, paintings and maquettes made for the project, was filmed in the 2011 Mark Kidel-directed BBC Four documentary Brian Clarke: Colouring Light - An Artist Apart. In the film, Clarke says: "This is the Shard, going up in London, and I’ve been asked to do something between the two buildings of this development by Renzo Piano; that’s the entrance to London Bridge station, so there’ll be huge pedestrian traffic crossing this space, all day long. It’s got to be something, I felt, that kept the language of the Shard. So I thought of the idea, and at first it seemed quite a silly idea, perhaps rather banal, but I’ve grown rather fond of the concept: shards of glass from the top of the structure, as if they’ve fallen down and just penetrated the ground level. And as pedestruians make their way through the work, by day you’ll get sunlight passing through and by night, lit from within, it will glow and be visible from all the viewing corridors as you approach London Bridge station. It will be like a cathedral of colour."