London's Cultural Guide

Woven Wonders: artist Sheila Hicks’ stunning Coal Drops Yard installation

This outdoor site-specific installation shimmies with colour, dynamism and vibrancy

We’ll admit it: most of our reasons to hang out in Coal Drops Yard revolve around putting things in our mouths – hello Hicce, Parillan, Vermueteria, Barrafina. So  it’s easy to forget there’s often interesting public art there, too.

The latest is a bit of a must-see: a new outdoor site-specific installation by renowned 88-year-old US artist Sheila Hicks, it’s one you (literally) can’t miss.

You may recall Hicks for her ground-breaking work which incorporates distinctive colours, natural materials, and personal narratives. Responding to the restored Victorian architecture, Hicks has made a vast, floating sculpture which transforms Coal Drops Yard into an intertwined environment of colour and moving forms. And it feels extremely positive to experience. Especially when the sun’s out.

Sheila Hicks at her installation. Photo: PR

Creating a conversation between a sculpture and an existing architectural environment is at the heart of Hicks’ work. Parallel cables are suspended and organized like the warp threads of a colossal loom – a nod to the textile industry of the Victorian era – with ribbons of coloured fabrics criss-crossing the cavernous space of Coal Drops Yard.


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You can walk through the installation, or just sit directly underneath with a coffee or beer as it flutters against the breeze, watching the shadows thrown below.

Woven Wonders is on display until 16th October. Follow @coaldropsyard for more.

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