In the past couple of weeks two new Sean Henry sculptures (well one new one actually) have been installed at Wood Wharf in Docklands. One of these is Standing Figure (Man) which was previously at Reuters Place in Canary Wharf. The other which is Standing Figure (Woman) and its a newer iteration of Henry’s earlier sculptures featuring this. I’m not sure whether the current setting is appropriate for these sculptures but hey let’s not forget Wood Wharf is still an ongoing development! It has aspirations of being the place to be in terms of viewing top notch art work and these Sean Henry sculptures now complement those other works that have been at Wood Wharf since early this year.
Standing Figure (Man and Woman) can both be found in Park Drive just to the east of the main Canary Wharf site.
I haven’t seen any official announcement from Canary Wharf about these new Sean Henry figures however security did indicate these had been in place about two weeks. Currently there’s no sign or plaque about the sculptures thus presumably things are unofficial as it stands at the moment.
The new Wood Wharf installation on Sean Henry’s website
Sean Henry’s website does mention this new installation and it clearly tells us the Standing Figure (Man) is an established one whilst the Standing Figure (Woman) is clearly a new one for 2020 – and probably commissioned for Wood Wharf for all I know. A similar sculpture has already been exhibited elsewhere – however the variation on this 2020 model is the hair colour. In previous versions its blonde hair whereas this new one has black hair. The sculptures are intended to complement each other and follow on from other examples of Henry’s work (such as at Paddington) where there’s also a pair.
Standing Figure (Man) 2019.
These are quite large sculptures as far as it goes! Most of Sean Henry’s other works are life sized however these latest are larger than life. They’re not his largest though – that honour goes to his ‘Man on the Moors’ (Seated Figure 2016) which is three metres tall (and currently displayed at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.) The Wood Wharf sculptures must be about seven feet or more in height – I only go up to about their shoulders even though I’m six foot height!
Sean Henry has had other work displayed in the area – the most prominent was Seated Man (2011) in Cabot Square. His sculptures are quite a draw wherever they are – thus its probably no surprise Wood Wharf has taken on two of Henry’s works.
Standing Figure (Woman) 2020.
Harbour Quay is largely open now – save for the bit by the circular structure known as One Park Drive.
The pop up park on the south side of Wood Wharf and very near where Sean Henry’s sculptures are is now largely open and available for all to enjoy. It has been open in part for sometime however its been opened up more now and its known as Harbour Quay. There are good views up and down as well as across the waters that constitute South Dock. Its not fully open however. The curved section that leads around the bottom of One Park Drive is yet to open and that is dependent on the iconic residential tower itself being completed.
How Harbour Quay will look when completed. Source: Canary Wharf
Other new artworks are popping up at Canary Wharf/Wood Wharf too. There’s this glossy curved thing near the bottom of Water Street – its by Richard Hudson and its called The Knot (2018) – this has been at Canary Wharf since Spring 2019 and was previously located at the Cubitt steps by Cabot Square. It gives some great reflections of the surrounding buildings.
There’s also this new steel beam structure on the east side of Montgomery Square (en route to Wood Wharf) its obviously just been installed. Don’t know who made or what its about! It looks like it might be some kind of a pointer towards Wood Wharf because, after all, its pointing in the direction of One Park Drive!