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Monday 14 September 2015 – Media Release

Keys to the city: Play Me, I’m Yours arrives in Canary Wharf

  • 15 pianos, individually decorated by local and national artists, are now dotted throughout Canary Wharf
  • Pianos are part of the international Play Me, I’m Yours project and free to be played by the public
  • Organisers holding a competition for the best photos and videos of the pianos in use
  • Some pianos will be donated to local community groups and schools when the installation finishes

Fifteen pianos have today appeared in various locations around Canary Wharf, as part of an internationally touring artwork devised by British artist Luke Jerram. Each piano has been specifically decorated to reflect the diverse and varied nature of Canary Wharf by 15 different artists, some of whom are based locally and some from further afield.

The pianos are intended to act as a musical canvas to encourage spontaneous creativity throughout the Estate’s parks, open spaces and shopping areas. It is hoped the installation will prompt members of the public, old and young, accomplished musicians and enthusiastic amateurs, to indulge their musical passions.

Speaking about the installation, Sian Astrop, Head of Arts and Events, Canary Wharf Group, said “People might not be aware but Canary Wharf inspires much musical creativity, perhaps most notably, Dizzee Rascal who has said he was inspired to success by the size and scale of the One Canada Square building. We want Canary Wharf to continue inspiring people to express themselves creatively and we hope that these 15 pianos will do just that. Whether you’re a skilled pianist or can only just manage ‘Chopsticks’, we want to hear what you can do, all across Canary Wharf.”

Talking about their involvement in the project, artist Ana Ospina added “As an artist, I’m only too happy to get involved in any initiative which injects more creativity into our everyday lives. This installation does that in two ways: by providing a versatile musical instrument for the public to play and also through the artwork on and around the pianos themselves.”

Luke Jerram, the artist who originally conceived the idea, explained ‘The idea for ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ came from visiting my local launderette. I saw the same people there each weekend and yet no one talked to one another. I suddenly realised that within a city, there must be hundreds of these invisible communities, regularly spending time with one another in silence. Placing a piano into the space was my solution to this problem, acting as a catalyst for conversation and changing the dynamics of a space.’

The organisers are encouraging the public to send in their best photos and videos of them using the pianos to www.canarywharfpianos.com.  The three pictures or videos uploaded with the hashtag #CWstreetpianos with the most views at the end of the installation will win prizes, including cinema tickets at Everyman Canary Wharf.

Canary Wharf Group has brought the pianos to the area as part of their ground-breaking arts and events programme. Play Me, I’m Yours is part of a wider international project conceived by British artist Luke Jerram which has visited over 40 cities internationally. The Canary Wharf installation was curated by Cara Jean Flynn, a spatial and public artist based in East London.

The pianos are free to play and will be accessible all day and into the evening, until 10 October 2015. At the end of this project some of the pianos will be donated to local charities and community groups.

ENDS

Full List of Artists and Locations

Georgia Westwood – A leading London florist, venue stylist and set designer. – Growth @ Montgomery Square

Megan Broadmeadow – Megan is winner of the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award & her previous show was featured in Wallpaper*. – Reverberation @ Jubilee Park

Stefan Nenov – An artist who creates sculptures using wood in a style defined as surreal pop-art. – Beyond Dimensions @ Adams Plaza, Crossrail Place

Stelios Manganis – An artist whose work involves the use of mechanisms & technology. – Transportal @ Canada Square Park

Caf and Robin – Makers of objects, experiences and works of art. – Built @ Crossrail Place

Kãrlis Bogustovs – A Latvian ‘skateboarding artist’ who explores the possibilities of form and material. – The Sound of Architecture @ Reuters Plaza

Greg Hewitt – Art Director on Sam Smith’s / Disclosure’s single Latch & Channel 4’sCucumber/Banana/Tofu. – The Underwater Piano @ Westferry Circus

Serena Montessia – Designer & co-founder of AtelierFraSe, creating architectural sculptures & bespoke furniture. – The Gingerbread Piano @ Canada Place

Sarah Pager – Featured in The Catlin Guide & selected by Phyllida Barlow for the Creekside Open. – Breathe With Me @ Crossrail Place

Ana Ospina – London based artist who weaves narratives of community and sustainability through her art. – Knitted Piano @ Churchill Place (Thanks to The Knit Wits & Wine, Women & Wool)

Sandie M Sutton – A sculptor & educator specialising in reclaimed materials & environmental art. – Green Piano @ Columbus Courtyard

Robert Worley – Winner of the First@108 Sculpture Prize with Avatar 2009, now located at Westferry Circus in Canary Wharf. – Listening Piano @ Cabot Square

Darling and Edge – Creators of exciting & unexpected art work from edible experiences to interactive sound design. – Handmade @ Jubilee Place

Mark Parry – A digital media artist who works with light and projection. – Piano @ Crossrail Place’s Roof Garden

Tim van Cromvoirt – Tim focuses his work in the field of Art, Science & Technology. – Pianolume @ West Wintergarden

Further information:

Issued by Brands2Life on behalf of Canary Wharf Group
020 7592 1200
canarywharf@brands2life.com

For information about Play Me, I’m Yours or to arrange an interview with the artist behind this artwork:
Luke Jerram
0117 925 8243
luke@lukejerram.com

Notes to editors

About ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’
‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ has been touring internationally since 2008 with over 1,500 pianos installed in 48 cities spanning the globe from New York to London. Each new city that commissions the work becomes part of a growing legacy, one which will be continued by Canary Wharf Group, as at the end of the project a number of the pianos will be donated to local charities and community groups. 

Visit www.canarywharfpianos.com to share your films, photos and stories about the pianos at Canary Wharf. Whilst documenting each piano’s journey, the website connects the pianos and their communities across the city and acts as a legacy for the artwork.

www.streetpianos.com/canarywharf2015

About Canary Wharf Group
Canary Wharf Group plc has overseen the largest urban regeneration project ever undertaken in Europe, designing and building more than 16m sq ft of iconic London real estate which now houses local and international companies and renowned retailers.

The Canary Wharf Estate is a major retail destination comprising five shopping malls, including the new leisure development, Crossrail Place, housing one of London’s most stunning roof gardens.  It also has world-class, year-round arts and events programme offering over 100 diverse and culturally inspiring events performed throughout the Estate.

Canary Wharf Group is a wholly owned joint venture between Brookfield Property Partners and the Qatar Investment Authority.

www.canarywharf.com