Artist Lakwena Maciver paints a 1400sqm colourful dreamscape on one of London’s rarely used rooftops as part of the city’s station redevelopment.
The geometric rooftop garden by simply walking up the stairs at the station.
Once above street level, visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the Thames and the South Bank
The space has been transformed into a place for the public to experience large-scale life-affirming artistic interventions and the Women’s Work exhibition programme.
It is a revelation: of an extraordinary site and of the power of the artist to bring us a glimpse of earthly paradise.
Lakwena’s intervention responds to the sensation the site gives of being raised up into the air, heavenward and is a contemporary vision of Paradise – a haven above the turbulent world below – an oasis of coloured calm.
“The name Temple, given to the group of buildings in London which stands on land formerly belonging to the Knights Templar, is overshadowed by its now predominantly secular surroundings. But the concept of a temple – a place where heaven and earth meet – remains deeply relevant. They say that the Garden of Eden was the first temple – the story goes that we were cast out of the Garden, and ever since then we have been longing to find our way back. This idea of a subconscious yearning for paradise sits in stark contrast to the highly colonised, concrete environment that now surrounds Temple Station. Yet it is this which has become the impetus for this public intervention.”
Lakwena’s intervention in The Artist’s Garden is a co-commission with 180 Studios, home to a vibrant community of artists operating in the audiovisual sphere from its brutalist building stretching from The Strand to Temple Place. The project is realised in close partnership with Westminster City Council as part of Inside Out/Westminster Reveals and with the invaluable support and advice of WSP Global, Vigo Gallery and Northbank BID with the kind permission of Transport for London.
Lakwena employs bright colour and bold text to create paintings which, often appearing in public spaces in the form of murals, can be understood to be “escape routes, afrofuturistic portals to utopia”.
Utilising bright colour and bold text, her eye-catching paintings explore and gently subvert ideas relating to decolonisation, redemption, escapism, afrofuturism, and utopia.
Currently based in London, her work has been shown internationally in cities including London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and more.
Her work has also appeared in public spaces from Tate Britain, Somerset House, Facebook and the Southbank Centre in London, to the Bowery Wall in New York, a juvenile detention centre in Arkansas and a monastery in Vienna.
Find more inspiring colour projects here
Photography: David Parry/PA Wire