Visit London Blog » anish kapoor Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Are You Brave Enough To Abseil Down Britain’s Tallest Sculpture? Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:12:57 +0000 ArcelorMittal Orbit

ArcelorMittal Orbit


Scared of heights? Then look away now!

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is Britain’s tallest sculpture at 114.5 metres and is the latest London landmark to offer an exhilarating experience to its thrill-seeking punters – which is how I came to abseil down it.

After an on-the-ground safety briefing, our group takes a high speed lift to the upper viewing platform of this helter skelter-like sculpture, which is a palm-sweating 80m high. Starting my dizzying descent is fairly terrifying, but my fear soon melts away as I soak up the epic view of London beneath my dangling feet.

Abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit

Abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit


City skyscrapers at Canary Wharf, The Gherkin, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Olympic Stadium, The Shard and even Wembley Stadium can be spotted on this clear, sunny day.

And I really start to appreciate the stature and architecture of Turner Prize-winner Anish Kapoor’s fire engine red sculpture from this unique perspective.

Abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit

Abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit


Are you brave enough to tackle the UK’s highest freefall abseil? The next abseiling experiences will be on 17 April, 24 May, 14 June, 18 July and 30 August and will cost from £85 per person. Book here.

Visitors who don’t fancy abseiling can reach the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit by two high speed lifts and then walk down the 455 steps which spiral around the central column to experience the constantly changing perspectives from every angle.

Janine Kelso was a guest of ArcelorMittal Orbit.

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London Video of the Week: Britain Prepares – The Orbit Fri, 13 Jan 2012 16:00:55 +0000

This is a great video from the UK Foreign Office’s YouTube channel, all about The Orbit – one of the new attractions being built in London this year.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit, to give it its full name, will be a contemporary symbol for the 21st century. At 115m tall, it’ll be Britain’s largest public art work. It has been created by artist and sculptor Anish Kapoor, and architectural engineer and designer Cecil Balmond.

When finished, it’ll be 22m taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York and offer unparalleled views of the entire 250 acres of the Olympic Park and London’s skyline from  special viewing platforms. The basic structure is a square rotated in space at 45 degrees.

What do you think of the Orbit? Let us know in the comments below.

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Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts Tue, 07 Jun 2011 09:00:32 +0000

It is hard to believe that the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts has been running for 243 years! 

Each year it showcases a selection of art from established and emerging artists chosen from more than 12,000 pieces, all hoping for a place at this prestigious art show. The result is a superb array of paintings, photography, sculpture and film to brighten your day – even if the weather does not match it!

The fantastic sculpture by Jeff Koons that greets visitors as they walk into the RA courtyard is a personal favourite as we loved the warm, cheery feelings that it evokes and it sets the tone for the rest of the exhibition.

The Summer Exhibition gives visitors an unrivalled variety of art. Each room is jam-packed with art: big art, miniscule art, art in boxes, art hanging from the ceiling, minimal art, immensely detailed art, kinetic artworks, modern sculpture sitting alongside impressionist-styled painting, surrealism standing alongside new architecture and plenty more.

At first we found it odd that the myriad works in the gallery weren’t accompanied by individual explanations or titles. After a few minutes we realised why; The focus of the exhibition is on the artwork rather than the explanation. We are granted a short overview in each room but that’s it.

Favourite pieces include Simon Brundret’s Dog In a Bin which shows a life-size moving dog sculpture rummaging for food in a rubbish bin and a beautiful oil painting of London by Ken Howard titled Rain Effect In The City.

It’s rare to be afforded the privilege of experiencing works by established modern artists such as Tracey Emin and Anish Kapoor alongside emerging talent. This is one exhibition where, like London, there really is something to suit all tastes.

Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts until 15 Aug 2011. Book tickets

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Anish Kapoor Tower Announced for London 2012 Olympic Park Wed, 31 Mar 2010 16:05:28 +0000 The ArcelorMittal Orbit with Zaha Hadid's Aquatic Centre on the right The ArcelorMittal Orbit with the Olympic Stadium on the right A detail of a section of the tower Boris Johnson, Tessa Jowell and Lakshmi Mittal examine the tower model Boris Johnson, Tessa Jowell, Lakshmi Mittal, Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond at today's launch A slightly dark picture of a model of Orbit from today's press conference

I’ve just got back from an announcement at City Hall about an exciting new tower, called ArcelorMittal Orbit, commissioned for London’s Olympic Park.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson described the tower, which at a height of 118m will be Britain’s biggest piece of public art, as a “beauty”.

Although it’s currently called the Orbit, Boris also suggested London’s new red steel tower might be called a “giant treble clef, a mutant trombone, or a hubble bubble” – the latter in reference to its likeness to a shisha pipe, which wasn’t something I’d thought of…

Whatever Londoners decide to christen it (and I’m sure we will!), it’s certainly an exciting new structure. Anish Kapoor talked at length about his inspiration for the tower, acknowledging Gustave Eiffel’s 324m Paris landmark, as well as explaining how he hopes Londoners and visitors will make the journey around, and up and down the tower, with real a real sense of participation.

The £19.1m design incorporates the five Olympic rings, and has panoramic views of London from the top. As well as a walkway up the tower, there’ll be high-speed lifts taking 700 people per hour to the top. There’ll be a viewing platform up there, as well as a restaurant.

And when’s it going to ready? Well, the construction starts to “build itself” in clever sections in the next couple of months (with no scaffolding, Anish explained), and the tower will be ready for visitors in November 2011. The restaurant will come a bit later.

The Orbit will be on site for years to come, providing London with an exciting new visitor attraction in Stratford.

What do you think it should be called? The Stratford Scribble? Or The Scoubiedou? Let us know in the comments below!

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Our Best Bits: The VL Team’s London Highlights for 2009 Thu, 31 Dec 2009 10:00:02 +0000 Somerset House

It’s been a fantastic year in London. Here we take a moment to reflect on our favourite things from 2009.

I think mine was seeing the film Wings of Desire at the Somerset House Summer Screen. Everything came together that night: fantastic venue, good weather, and a cool movie about Berlin with Nick Cave on the soundtrack!

Hannah:The Cloud Project's ice cream van
I love all the quirky, creative events that happen in London. Two of the best this year were Bompas and Parr’s Architectural Punch Bowl and the science-themed ice cream van at the Royal College of Art Show.

My highlight of 2009 is seeing bands that I loved back in the 90s! This year I’ve been lucky enough to see Brett Anderson from Suede, the Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode, who all played fantastic gigs in London.

Anish Kapoor at the Royal Academy – this groundbreaking exhibition was a breath of fresh air. The scale and ambition of the exhibition made it one of my highlights of the year. Massive reflective sculptures, a huge moving wax installation squeezing its way through the academy’s doorways, and, of course, the famous wax cannon mean I won’t forget this show in a hurry.

Julie:Incredible act The Skating Willers. Photo: perou
La Clique’s intoxicating cocktail of cabaret, circus, comedy and burlesque is the best night out in London by far. Current highlights include Marawa’s fabulous disco hula hooping, Ursula Martinez’s famous strip with red hankie, Mario Queen of the Circus’s Freddy Mercury tribute, juggling and risqué chat – and manic songstress Miao Miao’s ability to get strapping blokes from the audience into uncompromising positions. I’ve been lucky enough to see La Clique five times and have thoroughly enjoyed every show!

I can’t decide between my top two highlights of 2009. I was totally terrified after I agreed to go kayaking in the summer but bobbing about on the Thames on a lovely sunny morning turned out to be the most peaceful and relaxing way to enjoy London. The other highlight was seeing my all-time favourite band, The Shadows, in concert for the first time. If only I’d been kayaking with The Shadows, my year would have been perfect!

It’s impossible to choose between Piaf early in the year, Hello, Dolly! and As You Like It in the summer, and more recently, Morecambe for Christmassy giggles. And I really liked going to Frank’s Campari Bar on top of Peckham’s multi-storey carpark in the summer. Proof that my new neighbourhood, SE15, is where it’s at.

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Photo of the Week: Anish Kapoor at the Royal Academy of Arts Fri, 27 Nov 2009 12:46:50 +0000 Anish Kapoor sculpture at the Royal Academy by ZoZo79

This week’s photo is by ZoZo79 and shows the courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts reflected in a sculpture by Anish Kapoor. The Anish Kapoor exhibition is on till the 11 December.

Add your pictures to the Visit London Flickr Pool and you could be featured next!

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Anish Kapoor at the Royal Academy of Arts Tue, 22 Sep 2009 11:52:34 +0000 Anish Kapoor, Tall Tree and the Eye Anish Kapoor, White Sand, Red Millet, Many Flowers, 1982. Collection Arts Council, South Bank Centre, London Anish Kapoor, Yellow, 1999 Anish Kapoor, Svayambh Anish Kapoor, Svayambh Anish Kapoor, Svayambh (close-up) Anish Kapoor, Shooting into the Corner, 2008-9. MAK, Vienna, Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art Anish Kapoor Anish Kapoor, Slug, 2009

Anish Kapoor‘s long-awaited exhibition opens on Saturday at London’s Royal Academy of Arts.

This is the first time the Royal Academy’s Main Galleries have been taken over by a living artist, and Kapoor has made good use of the space.

On arrival you’ll see the impressive Tall Tree and the Eye sculpture in the Royal Academy’s courtyard, a 15-metre high tower of shiny stainless steel balls.

Head inside to see one of the show’s most talked-about exhibits: Svayambh, a massive block of red wax that travels slowly through the galleries on train tracks, depositing wax all over the white walls and doorways.

More red wax is involved in Shooting in the Corner (see below), a giant cannon which goes off every 20 minutes, shooting wax against the wall. Be prepared for a loud bang!

There are many more beautiful pieces in the show: sculptures resembling colourful stacks of pigment, smooth shaped mirrors, and mounds of clay.

There’s so much to see in the exhibition that it’s well worth the £12 ticket price.

Anish Kapoor is at the Royal Academy of Arts from 26 September to 11 December.

Watch Anish Kapoor’s Shooting into the Corner live from the Royal Academy:

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