A major public art installation Trading Words and pop-up exhibition is set to be officially unveiled on 22 February at London Dock.
Inspired by the historic cargo records the installation will be over 300m long and span the length of the new London Dock development in Wapping. An accompanying free pop-up exhibition will run from 22 February to 30 April, providing insights into the history of the location and the creation and installation of the artwork
Trading Words is a major public art installation by renowned artist Gordon Young, unveiled at a new development in Wapping, designed by architects Patel Taylor.
Derived from historic rates and tariff-books which list the goods imported and exported via London over the last 400 years, Trading Words is a floor-based typographic installation made of granite, integrated into the public realm through the buildings of London Dock. Young’s concept is inspired by Piet Mondrian’s graphic clarity and Umberto Eco’s The Infinity of Lists. The lists of words include such commodities as the more obvious ‘ale’ or ‘pickles’, as well as more peculiar goods such as ‘dragon’s blood’ which was a treatment for stomach bugs as well as a varnish for instruments; or ‘bear’s grease’ which was popular in the nineteenth century and widely believed to prevent hair loss, originally made from the fat of the brown bear.
Trading Words is the first work in London for Young who is renowned for his large-scale installations, including The Comedy Carpet in Blackpool. The artist specialises in creating public art works which become part of daily life and reflect his passion for literature and poetry.