Outside art. Another way to discover London.

Did you know… You can buy art outside every Sunday at the Bayswater Road Artist’s Gallery – the art is displayed on the park railings.

Spend your time outside appreciating London’s street art. You’ll discover historical statues, contemporary sculpture, murals, installations and more. And of course it’s free for you to enjoy!

Make London your own personal art gallery with our guide to London’s al fresco art.

The 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square

Want to see some controversial modern art? Check out the 4th Plinth.

There are four plinths near the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square. The first three have statues of George IV and two generals. The 4th was supposed to be home to a statue of a horse, but the money ran out in the 1840s and the plinth was left empty for more than 150 years.

Since 1999, the 4th Plinth has become a display space for specially commissioned art such as Antony Gormley’s One & Other, where members of the public stood on the plinth for one hour each, and Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle.

Today on the 4th Plinth, you can see Powerless Structures, Fig. 101 by Elmgreen & Dragset, a golden statue of a boy on a rocking horse.

Banksy in London

Guerilla artist Banksy has taken London by storm with his street art.

Cropping up unexpectedly on walls around London, he stencils pictures of people and animals engaged in rather unexpected behaviour. You’ll need to look twice to see if you really have just seen a cat building an elaborate bird trap.

Some of the art makes a hard-hitting political point, other works are extremely funny; often they are both. Banksy also creates public sculpture with the same imagination.

You’ll find a list of the locations for some of Banksy’s works here. Other street artists to look out for include Malarky, Eine and Stik.

Art in London’s Canary Wharf

You’ll love exploring public art in Canary Wharf.

The shops and offices are surrounded by loads of little quirky spaces full of statues and greenery. It’s a modern area with cultural charm. Look out for exciting temporary exhibitions and events.

Art Installations in Spitalfields

Spitalfields is another area of London with a passion for public art. The Spitalfields Public Art Programme supports a changing exhibition. The art in Spitalfields reflects the history of the area.

Paul Cox’s oversized white rabbits, called Spitalfields Spirit, are currently installed in Bishop’s Square. The rabbits are designed to represent the large, tight-knit communities of the East End.

Julian Wild’s System No. 18, a large sphere made from metal tubing, reflects the building boom that has happened in Spitalfields recent years.

Public Art in Lewisham

There are more than 60 art works across the borough of Lewisham, from the Thames in the north to Beckenham in the south.

Lewisham has a diverse collection, from the traditional to witty murals by Artmongers to popular pieces such as the Catford Cat. Public art commissions come and go; see the archive at www.lewisham.gov.uk/publicart along with details of the artists, year of installation, commissioning bodies and other info.

The guide below reveals the highlights for you to explore Lewisham’s public art for yourself.
Download a free Guide to Public Art in Lewisham [PDF 1 MB]

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