This spring, Seven Dials invites you to discover a local initiative, The Artist’s Artist Project, displayed on an old billboard on Shorts Gardens which sees an ongoing series of free public artworks exhibited in the unique West End destination.
Unveiled on Tuesday 14th May, the latest work by Gonzalez is titled At the Entrance of Seven Obscure Passages and pays tribute to the 30th anniversary of the neighbourhood’s iconic landmark, the Sundial Pillar, in the heart of Seven Dials, while showcasing the areas fascinating history, illuminating the long-held creative spirit and sense of discovery in the area.
Initially launched in January 2019 with British artist Iona Rowland’s work, The Evolution of Agatha Christie, the exclusive public work of art was commissioned by Seven Dials to honour 90 years since the publication of Agatha Christie’s iconic novel The Seven Dials Mystery and will be auctioned off this summer for the UK charity The Fawcett Society, who campaign for gender equality and women's rights. Iona nominated fellow London-based artist, Rene Gonzalez, to be the second artist in the ongoing series.
The series of installations will be displayed on the billboard on Shorts Gardens showcasing three of London’s most talented emerging artists throughout 2019, before being auctioned off for selected charity partners.
Commenting on The Artist’s Artist Project, Rene Gonzalez said: “When I lived in Costa Rica, I was a mural and graffiti artist so I’m very aware of how art in public spaces reflects and transforms a community’s identity. After working in fine art for many years in London, it’s a privilege to be commissioned for this project and be given the platform to show viewers a glimpse of Seven Dials from my perspective - a mythic place filled with enchantment, secrets and mysteries.”
The four-month display draws on Rene’s signature aesthetic of ‘magical realism’ to the piece, using acrylic paint on raw canvas to portray London’s iconic landmark, Sundial Pillar, and capture the architecture and evolution of Seven Dials since its establishment in the 17th century. The exclusive public artwork features Thomas Neale who cleverly designed Seven Dials in the early 1690s and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands who unveiled the reconstructed landmark as part of the community celebrations in 1989, marking the successful conservation efforts of The Seven Dials Trust.
Thanks to the work of Seven Dials Trust in preventing major development plans to this historic West End neighbourhood, Seven Dials is the only quarter in London remaining from the late 17th century with its unique street layout.