London’s Public Art: Weaving Identities

A tall metal sculpture stands in a public park, holding up a couple of CCTVs that keep an eye on the area. It’s by the artist, Peter Dunn and was completed in autumn 2003 at a cost a total of £70,000.

The artwork is Weaving Identities and was installed following a commission from Tower Hamlets council to produce a work of art. To be fair to the council, there already was a tall pole on the location with CCTV at the top, so while the art replaced that pole, it can be metaphorically said to be woven around the original purpose — of surveillance.

The art’s design comes from working with local school children of what the area means to them, so the art is more about sport than the heritage of the Huguenot silkweavers who used to live here.

One of the footballers holds aloft the main CCTV with a second freestanding.

What’s quite nice though, is the brickwork around the base of the sculpture, which was laid out in a slightly offset pattern as if made from woven threads, and then the schoolchildren carved their own art into the top layer.

It’s just a pity that the art is better known for its security aspect than its artistic one.