‘There and Now’ – Westminster Magistrates Court Public Art

Spanning the entire frontage of Westminster Magistrates Court, this metalwork sculpture by artist Bex Simon, tells the story of the famous site with a fascinating blend of traditional craft and contemporary design.

The 40 metre-long piece of public art wraps around Westminster Magistrates Court, the site of some of the most high profile court cases in the UK.  The hand-crafted metalwork uses the ancient blacksmith craft to create a modern, contemporary piece which is has become a key cultural landmark for London.

Designed by artist blacksmith Bex Simon, the design concept tells the story of the site, from its roots as the Yorkshire Stingo Tavern (including some beautiful textured hammered leaves representing the hops) through to a courthouse and modern justice system. There are London references throughout including a meandering Thames and the O2.

The artwork varies from 4 meter high forged metal hops plants through to acrylic encapsulations of artworks from two local schools and a fully functioning QR code sculpture made by the offenders of Coldingley Prison.

Visitors are invited to download a QR code scanner to your phone, so you can access ‘The Making’ video which includes a music track written for this artwork, with sounds of the forging machines, tools and anvil samples. A cello represents the ancient blacksmithing craft and is interspersed with a modern, contemporary soundscape – a new interpretation of the ‘artsmith’ movement.

Public Art Diaries, Part One - "The Hops"

The Making of ‘There and Now’, Westminster Magistrates Court Public Art