27 June – 2 November 2014
Free to all
The largest art exhibition ever staged at the Museum of London Docklands explores the iconic bridges that have become an integral part of the capital city.
In his sonnet Upon Westminster Bridge, William Wordsworth describes 'a sight so touching in its majesty', as he reflects on the panorama laid out before him. 'Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie, Open unto the fields, and to the sky, All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.'
Inspired by the words of the great poet, Museum of London Docklands embarks on an exploration of London's bridges and how they affect the way people experience the city. Bringing together painting, photography, film and maquettes, the display reveals the unique perspective a bridge can provide, offering views of the capital that would be otherwise impossible from its jumbled mediaeval street layout.
Featured bridges include London, Tower, Hungerford, Blackfriars, Westminster and Millennium, as seen through the eyes of Crispin Hughes, Christopher Nevinson, Christina Broom, James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
As well as the city's existing bridges, the display looks at Thomas Heatherwick’s ambitious Garden Bridge proposal, which will begin construction next year. Conceived by the actress Joanna Lumley, the 'elevated garden' will connect north and south London, running from Temple to Southbank. Its structure will widen and narrow, in order to provide places for pedestrians to stop and enjoy views across the city, while the plants will be a mix of indigenous river-edge species.