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Art of London comes to Piccadilly

Art of London, a new cultural initiative for the West End, and the Royal Academy of Arts have collaborated on a unique and accessible art takeover for the Piccadilly area.

The works sees the global destination transformed into a canvas for one of the biggest public art takeovers the capital has ever seen.

Until the end of August, the area around Piccadilly will be transformed by 30 overhanging flags, 13 pedestrian crossings (the largest ever number of art crossings to take place in one area), as well as regular takeovers of the 780 sqm Piccadilly Lights.

Audiences will be able to access and participate in a special augmented reality ten-screen experience and audio sync via their mobile phones.

This will be the first time this technology has been used on the iconic landmark.

Five artists associated with the Royal Academy, Michael Armitage, Vanessa Jackson, Isaac Julien, Farshid Moussavi and Yinka Shonibare have been carefully selected to transform the area and to welcome people back to the West End after the Covid-19 lockdown period.

The artists involved were allocated a specific area to design, where they could choose to repurpose an existing artwork or create something completely new.

Armitage, Moussavi and Shonibare have designed the art for 30 hanging flags positioned along the famous cultural hub of Piccadilly.

All three artists have very distinct and different backgrounds and mediums, yet their chosen pieces work in harmony together, with the tones, shapes and designs complementing one another in a celebratory sequence of colour.

The hanging flags will be on display at the same time as Armitage’s exhibition, Paradise Edict, at the Royal Academy.

Shonibare is also the coordinator for this year’s annual and 253rd Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, which will open in September.