Tower Bridge announces Fluid Statics exhibition from latest Artist in Residence Imogen Piper

  • Tower Bridge presents brand new exhibition ‘Fluid Statics’ from Imogen Piper, the latest artist to take up Residency at the Bridge
  • Data-led artist Piper mined Tower Bridge’s vast data sets from over the last 125 years to create one-off artworks 
  • The exhibition will run from 9 November to January 2019 in the historic Victorian Engine Rooms
  • Exclusive press tours of the studio with Imogen Piper will take place on 13 November, held in The Bridge Master’s Learning Centre. 
  • The Artist in Residence initiative is part of an eclectic programme of arts, installations and intimate events to establish Tower Bridge as a new cultural venue in London

Tower Bridge launches its second Artist in Residence programme with a brand new exhibition from multidisciplinary research driven artist Imogen Piper. The exhibition titled ‘Fluid Statics’ will centre on a large-scale sculpture fashioned from the pipes, containers and tubes that mimic the numerous fluidic systems at the heart of the Bridge. 

The new work will be on display in the Victorian Engine Rooms, inviting visitors to explore the hydraulic engines once integral to the power of the mighty Bridge Lift. The shapes of the containers are fittingly derived and abstracted from the original engineers’ plan of the hydraulic engine situated behind the installation. 

Piper was awarded the Residency following an open call to artists in May 2018, where Tower Bridge was impressed by her focus on helping audiences engage with, understand and participate in her art. Her time at the Bridge follows the inaugural Residency in 2017, which saw artist Alex Evans produce an exquisite collection of new works inspired by the Victorian Gothic architecture of the Bridge.

Imogen Piper says: My time spent as artist in residence at Tower Bridge has been an incredibly unique experience. The site is inspiring alone, but the access I have been given has allowed me to discover depths and intricacies of the landmark and has enriched my artistic practice.

“’Fluid Statics’ is inspired by the powerful, but often overlooked, liquid systems that exist in and around the Bridge. It centres around a series of interconnected soft plastic shapes, filled with water collected from the source of the River Thames. These volumes of liquid denote the various weights of the solid materials used to build Tower Bridge, attempting to flip the hierarchy of matter by hiding the facade of solid Gothic architecture within bodies of liquid.”

Throughout her six month Residency, Piper has explored some of the fascinating data behind London’s defining landmark to help inform her creative response. Following the initial research stage, in which Piper engaged with everything from visitors to the mechanics, sounds and iconic architecture of the Bridge, she was granted direct access to collections of the Bridge’s data collected over the last century to aid her investigation of patterns, correlations, and outliers, all of which have contributed to this final sculptural piece. 

The Residency invites visitors to explore Tower Bridge through new perspectives, offering a deeper insight into the Bridge as a space open to new interpretations.  The resulting exhibition strips the Bridge right back to its mechanical core, exploring the active and living building through the intricate process systems central to the function of this iconic river crossing.

Central to the Residency is the artist’s engagement with families, schools and the local community. Piper worked closely with Tower Bridge’s Learning Team to lead a series of innovative and engaging data-collection workshops with children aged seven to ten years old from the Boutcher Primary School in Southwark. These sessions saw a live data collection at the Bridge where the children converted these digits to produce a series of colourful graphic responses, which will be on display in Tower Bridge’s high-level Walkways as part of the exhibition. These colourful works will share a fascinating insight into the daily life of Tower Bridge as seen through the eyes of some of their younger visitors. 

Chris EarlieHead of Tower Bridge, says:“We’re thrilled to welcome Imogen Piper as our newest Artist in Residence here at Tower Bridge. Following the success of the inaugural Residency last year, we’re excited to showcase the work Imogen has crafted as part of her Residency after immersing herself into some of the fascinating data collections behind the iconic bridge. The programme marks an exciting time for the Bridge, as we look to further establish Tower Bridge as an exciting new cultural space in London and roll out our brand new visual identity as London’s defining landmark.”

The exhibition runs from Friday 9 November 2018 – January 2019 (inclusive) and admission is included in the entry price for Tower Bridge.

Notes to Editors:

About Imogen Piper

  • Imogen Piper is an artist who seeks to draw parallels between disparate systems, converging the existing rather than fabricating the new. Producing artworks from these untested convergences, she addresses current political issues and wider societal uncertainties. Her process is research-driven and systematic, with outputs varying across film, publication, sculpture and performance.  Follow Imogen on [insert social channels]
  • Performed at The Imperial War Museum and The Design Museum, Piper’s most recent series of works entitled ‘Encoded Revolt’ encoded the co-ordinates and surrounding data of airstrikes in the Syrian conflict within music. These works were produced by converging the code make-up of airstrike data with the musical compositional movement Serialism, allowing digital data susceptible to censorship to be performed and preserved in the musical form. 
  • Whilst ‘Encoded Revolt’s convergence of airstrike data with music allowed for a new medium of emotional engagement with the conflict’s quantitive information; she now hopes to illuminate a unique quality of the Bridge through a new form of data representation.