Art & Culture
Experience The Line’s open-air art gallery in the company of Bill Nighy, Tessa Watt and the route’s artists
As The Line turns five, a new guide brings it to life in three distinct ways: as an arts experience, a nature walk, or a walking meditation.
Bird Boy, the little statue by Laura Ford, stands proudly right in the waters at Royal Victoria Dock, surveying the Crystal Building gardens and the people who walk past. Carry on walking in either direction and you will experience a fantastic trail of not just art but also natural beauty and local heritage.
The Royal Docks is proud to be a key part of The Line, London’s public art walk that follows the Greenwich meridian. Now, five years after its original launch, a free digital guide has been launched to accompany people as they explore the three-mile-long route that runs between Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the Royal Docks and The O2.
This year, when most museums and galleries have had no choice but to close because of the pandemic, public art is more important than ever. The new guide, found in the free Bloomberg Connects app, offers three ways to enjoy The Line: delve deeper into the art, focus on nature and each area’s history, or enjoy it as a mindfulness and wellbeing experience.
If you want to know more about the art, the guide has brand-new introductions from artists featured on the trail, including Alex Chinneck, Abigail Fallis, Richard Wilson, whose sliced sand dredger sits on the foreshore on the Greenwich Peninsula, Thomas J Price, Antony Gormley (the artist behind the mesmerising Quantum Cloud), Gary Hume, and Larry Achiampong, whose audio piece Sanko-time accompanies you as you travel from the Royal Docks to Greenwich on the Emirates Air Line cable car.
The Line is also a spectacular nature walk, featuring several of London’s greatest waters and industrial heritage sites. Now, you can experience this walk in the company of Bill Nighy, as the actor takes you on a tour through the hidden histories of the route, from the rivers and canals to the Trinity Buoy Wharf and Three Mills. Or if you’re looking for something a bit different, the guide has a specially-commissioned mindfulness guide from London author Tessa Watt, whose walking meditations will bring you closer than ever to your surroundings.
The mindfulness guides feel particularly pertinent as London’s lockdown continues and the importance of access to public space is felt by all.
Megan Piper, Director of The Line
“The mindfulness guides feel particularly pertinent as London’s lockdown continues and the importance of access to public space is felt by all,” said Megan Piper, Director of The Line. “It's fantastic to be in the company of such highly-respected institutions and I hope that the guide brings The Line to life for listeners.”
Along The Line, anyone can stumble across a piece of art that they can enjoy in their own time, on their own terms. If you can’t get outside, this new guide has a wealth of visual material too, with images from the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Museums Greenwich and Newham Archives, plus some brand new photographs of The Line by local photographer Emily Lovell.
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