December Art Scoop: 2022 Highlights

December 20, 2022

Banner Image from, Josefina Isaza, by Yves Blais.

Gordon: “It’s exciting to see so much passion and intensity.”

Sculpture in the City

Sculpture in the City has become an annual tradition – a selection of artworks appear around the City of London, some by internationally renowned artists, others by emerging talents.

I enjoyed a walking tour of this, the eleventh edition, taking in works by twenty artists dotted around Aldgate, Bishopsgate, Leadenhall and Fenchurch Street. Highlights included Ugo Rondinone’s Summer Moon, the ghost of an ancient olive tree transported to the heart of the City; Sarah Lucas’s Sandwich, a playful concrete lunchbreak for the City’s workers; Jesse Pollock’s The Granary, bringing a (literally) rose-tinted view of pastoral life to a spot in Cunard Place where modern skyscrapers loom over it; and Guillaume Vandame’s Symbols, signalling a safe space for all of us in our diversity. Once you’ve spotted your first Sculpture in the City, it’s hard to resist following the trail – more details are at or via Bloomberg Connects.

Images by: Gordon Seabright

Gemma: “an example for developers on mixed use and creative spaces 

Páipéar Group Exhibition, Hang Tough Contemporary 

Páipéar is an exhibition of 115 original works on paper by Irish and Irish based artists. I was equally excited by the space for this exhibition as I was in the artworks. Hang Tough Contemporary have done a great job in partnering with Hines to bring a contemporary art exhibition into central Dublin. With its double door, street corner entry, floor to ceiling glazed frontage, and position in central Dublin, it makes for a very inviting space for visitors to view bespoke commissioned artwork on display for the first time. And the artworks are colourful, vibrant, and interesting. Overall a great use of space to view contemporary art and an example for developers on mixed-use and creative spaces. I would love to see more of this happening in the long-term instead of the usual reliance on meanwhile space.


Yves “The atmosphere was buzzing and it felt like the artworld was reawakening after two long uncertain years.” 

Markfield Road Festival

I visited the Markfield Road Festival in Tottenham earlier this month, which hosted a range of events, talks, open studios, music and jam sessions. The atmosphere was buzzing and it felt like the artworld was reawakening after two long uncertain years and one the warmest summers on record.

I managed to speak with a number of artists in their studios about their practice over that time period. At Ten87 a music studios venue, Founder Rob Burn said they had to review their business model after the closure of their inhouse nightclub Five Mile, a victim of Covid. Instead, they’ve now turned the space into hireable state-of-the-art recording studios, much in-demand in London.

At Gaunson Creative Studios ceramist Josefina Isaza’s fine but very tactile sculptures sat in her studio bathed in late summer evening sunlight. We wore sunglasses to cut the glare through the large single-glazed windows, and she said it was difficult to be making in the space in those summer months, and nearly impossible to fire wares then with the extreme heat. Alice Perse Clarke has a studio in the eaves of the same building, where she presented bold closeup paintings of exotic plant life. She explained that over the summer, she worked in the studio in the mornings before the heat became unbearable and the fan only blew more hot air around. But, both expressed that despite the drawbacks, their studio was a prized possession – how crucial it was for the development of their practices, but how lucky they were to have the space; it wasn’t to be taken for granted.

Image: Yves Blais

Rosie “An escape from a life saturated with advertisements and imagery.” 

The Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts

At the beginning of December I went on a long trip with my girl to Dublin, would 100% recommend it. While very much soaking up the culture we visited The Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts lives in the city center. The RHA aspires to support artists, train students, and exhibit contemporary art in Ireland. The space has five galleries and multiple studios for student courses and artist residencies.

There we saw two exhibitions ‘In and of Itself – abstraction in the age of images’ a curation of abstract art and colour allowing interpretation, an escape from a life saturated with advertisements and imagery, and ‘Over Versions – The Gallery Press’ a range of artworks used across fifty years of Irish publishing.

Image: Rosie Niblock