A brand new spot to catch live performances, meet new people and enjoy the sunshine has popped up in Southbank Centre Square. This stylish creation has been designed by students and recent graduates of architecture, organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects. It is made from recycled steel that formed the bandstand at Festival of Britain in 2011. The architects from the 2011 project are helping the students this year.
The oldest living specimen in Africa, the baobab tree has long been a symbol for community gatherings and mediation. For Festival of the World, a colossal baobab tree has sprung up at Southbank Centre. The sculpture is made from stacks of fabric rings using material from around the globe. Created by Pirate Technics with help from 30 Masters students of Textile Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design, the fabrics represent their communities of origin, so each ring tells a story. Our baobab tree is 15 metres tall and celebrates global creativity and diversity.
The sound of poems rings out across the site every hour. Some people understand them whilst others listen curiously – the poems are in many different languages. With A Call to Poetry we bring people together by celebrating their differences using the many languages of the participating poets in Poetry Parnassus. Visitors can hear sonnets, rhymes, verses and haikus throughout the festival.
Grey concrete is concealed by thousands of grains of sand dyed in different colours as Queen’s Walk is transformed into a rainbow-coloured sand park for children and adults by Polish sculptor Adam Kalinowski. Explore the textures, colours and patterns that emerge as you walk barefoot across the park. Become a sculptor for the day and build sand shapes, or take a seat and watch families playing together with the art.
This play landscape was designed and built by eco-build specialists Small Earth, together with some of London’s smallest architects – pupils at Hounslow Heath Infant and Nursery School.
It is based on their ground-breaking school playground, which is under the flight path for Heathrow and has planes roaring 600 feet overhead. Their unique playscape integrates outside learning with innovative earth forms, creating quiet spaces to learn, play and relax.
Two large figures scale Hayward Gallery. One seems to be helping the other, but who is helping whom?
The London-based arts collective Robots>>>>, who build large sculptures from recycled and reclaimed materials, have made these figures predominantly from wood and steel used at Southbank Centre’s 2011 Festival of Britain.
Everything Is Beautiful When You Don’t Look Down was made with help from children at the Oasis Children’s Venture, a safe play space for young people in the London Borough of Lambeth.
Who knows what the robots will do when they reach their destination?
Wastescape encourages you to reconsider the role of waste in everyday life. Inspired by the residents of Moravia, a neighbourhood in Medellin, Colombia, which was built on the city's rubbish dump (closed since 1980). The community has developed initiatives based on re-using and recycling waste, and in recent years, culture and creativity have come to play an important role in the regeneration of the area and in the political organisation of the community.
Wastescape brings together thousands of plastic bottles and food packaging items, predominantly discarded or recycled, which have been crafted into an immersive and cavernous environment that transforms a forgotten space nestling against Hayward Gallery. As you explore the waste landscape you can listen to sound recordings of people from Moravia and London reflecting on urban development and waste.
Designed by artists Trey Watkins and Cameron Brown these giant children’s blocks, between one and 10 feet across, are scattered over and above Festival Terrace. At first they appear to be random letters, but when you see them from certain vantage points they line up to reveal hidden messages. Perspective blocks challenges you to take another look at the world around you, explore hidden meanings and revel in unexpected discoveries.
The flags fluttering on Royal Festival Hall and the Jubilee Flagpole throughout the festival do not represent specific countries. They have been designed by Studio Orta, whose work explores the social factors we all have in common, such as communication and identity. The many colours and patterns on the festival flags blend identities and cross borders to celebrate the world community.
During the festival, Southbank Centre transforms into a bustling port city filled with imported stories, international visitors, and new ideas to exchange. This is symbolised by the packing crates designed by Lyn Atelier, which appear to have washed up on the banks of The Thames. Each one tells a fascinating story of art changing a community.
The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden – a partnership between Southbank Centre and the Eden Project – was built from scratch last year by the ‘Grounded’ gardening team from Providence Row Housing Association, working with colleagues from the Eden Project. This summer, the Roof Garden features unusual vegetables originally introduced to the UK by immigrants, celebrating the cultural diversity of London.
A Room for London is a major new collaboration between Artangel and Living Architecture, in association with Southbank Centre. It is a one-bedroom architectural installation in the form of a riverboat. Taking inspiration from Joseph Conrad’s book Heart of Darkness and Roi des Belges (the boat he captained in the Congo in 1890) it was designed by David Kohn Architects, in collaboration with artist Fiona Banner. Throughout 2012, Artangel has invited London’s leading artists of all disciplines to take part in an extraordinary year of new writings, readings, performances, podcasts and live music webcasts from the capital’s most intimate temporary venue. From Bogotá to Bamako, Toronto to Frankfurt, New York to Stockholm, these world-renowned voices will use the Room as their studio to reflect on the city's place in the world in 2012.
Prepare yourself for a magnificent, brand-new amusement ground for the capital. A world of circus, sideshows and strange curiosities. At its heart lies a colossal Spiegeltent bursting with a programme of the finest international cabaret, music and circus. Headlining is the Australian circus hit, Cantina, a sensational cocktail of glamorous vaudeville and scintillating circus, featuring Australia's finest artists from La Clique, Circa, Acrobat, Tom Tom Crew and Circus Oz.
Located at Spirit Level on Level 1 of Royal Festival Hall is the Festival of the World Museum, built especially for Southbank Centre. As visitors arrive they are invited to choose their own entrance and then to take their own route through arches made of earth, a talking circle, and a cinema built from empty plastic bottles. They can explore and experience different artworks, colours and sounds which lead them to an idealised Passport Office created by Studio Orta. At this office individuals can sign up to become a citizen of the world and each person receives a free Antarctica World passport, becoming part of a growing global community.
Designed by Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway and the Hemingway Design team, the Museum introduces the ideas about art for social change which underpin the Festival of the World. It introduces educationalists and thinkers such as Pierre de Coubertin, Montessori, the Macmillan sisters and Toynbee and it offers insights into projects from around the world where art has changed people’s lives. The Museum also tells the stories of the outdoor artworks that are on display throughout the festival and explains how they were made.
Using brightly coloured and mass-produced everyday items, Korean artist and designer Choi Jeong Hwa creates large-scale sculptures and installations. Deploying them in their thousands these baskets, balloons, and even pieces of rubbish are transformed into spectacular artworks, making the familiar seem strange and the mundane fantastic. For Time After Time, Choi uses thousands of green carrying baskets to create a series of sculptural columns that forge a cheerful path through the multi-level architecture of the Southbank Centre site. Nearby, for Life–life, he uses hundreds of multi-coloured spiral balloons to create a joyful cloud amongst the natural foliage of a large tree.
In 2007, Ackroyd & Harvey went to Kassel, Germany to gather fallen acorns from Joseph Beuys’ seminal artwork 7,000 Oaks. Beuys advocated art as an instigator of radical social change and saw 7,000 Oaks as a catalyst to transform society. Now over 200 of those acorns are displayed as saplings at the festival in Beuys’ Acorns. They are grown by the artists in parallel with public discussions about the significance of trees and whether the transformation Beuys called for has taken place.
Join us from late July to create a giant map of the world using more than 1 million LEGO bricks.
Our World in LEGO will grow each day until Friday 10 August and then be on display for a fortnight. Each day from 12 noon to 3.30pm you can play your part in laying one of almost 4,000 LEGO boards designed especially for our Festival of the World. Bring your friends and family!
Inspired by the writer and educator JL Borges, aMAZEme by Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo is a giant maze built from over 200,000 books on The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall. Visitors can navigate this 'book labyrinth' which is made from all kinds of new and second-hand books. The maze, with walls up to 2.5 metres high, has been built in situ and is here until 26 August.