Thursday 27 February 2014 – Media Release

Michael Lyons’ Striking Steel Sculpture Comes to Life at Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf Group is thrilled to host Scale Appropriate, the largest exhibition of sculpture by Yorkshire-based artist Michael Lyons, to be staged in London in the lobby of One Canada Square and Jubilee Park this spring, from 31 March to 23 May 2014.

Lyons’ work is renowned in the north of England and has gained recognition around the world for his use of dramatic variation in size and scale to explore a number of abstract themes in expressive and original ways.

Michael Lyons plays with size and scale and he frequently makes small, medium-sized and monumental sculptures on a single theme – each modified according to its relative scale. This exhibition of his metal sculptures will showcase his chosen topics and subjects including mythology, landscape and history plus many more.

Michael Lyons uses a variety of metals in what can be described as a free and ‘painterly’ fashion, in work that is either constructed or cast. He pieces together recycled or new steel adding paint or wax to the surface to create vibrant, energetic and perfectly poised works of art. When casting from wax models in bronze, Lyons also achieves a rich mix of texture and form, again appropriately scaled.

Michael Lyons says: “I have spent a lot of my sculptural life trying to find the appropriate scale for things – visualising sculptures against buildings, lamp posts, people etc. I have in my archive a photograph of a student holding a long pole so I could work out the height of the Doves in Manchester and an even more humorous one of a commissioner standing on the sculpture spot with his arms above his head so I could measure him against the surrounding trees. There is also the question of the inherent appropriate scale for a sculpture. I suffer badly from the sculptor’s megalomania, the symptoms of which manifest themselves in remarks like I can see that really, really huge – which, of course, isn’t always the best option! It is interesting that some of the very small sculptures I make lend themselves to enlargement – and others are as they are.”

Canary Wharf Group’s Sculpture at Work curators often look beyond London for artists working in the regions of the United Kingdom for their award-winning exhibition programme. Michael Lyons’ remarkable exhibition will contribute to Canary Wharf’s long-standing tradition of exhibiting the best in contemporary sculpture from across the country.


Exhibition tour: Curator Ann Elliot tours the exhibition with the artist.
Lobby, One Canada Square
Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Tuesday 29 April 2014 6.30 to 7.15 pm
Meet: Lobby, One Canada Square
Email to reserve a place

For further information, please contact:

Ajay Teli
Canary Wharf Group

Clarissa Knox/Rachel Bowen
The Communication Group plc
T: 020 7630 1411
E: /

About the Artist

Michael Lyons was born in Bilston, Staffordshire in 1943. He studied at Wolverhampton College of Art 1959-63, when he became a part-time assistant to the sculptor, Kenneth Armitage. He went on to take an Art Teaching Diploma at Hornsey College of Art, London 1963-64 and a BA in Fine Art specialising in sculpture at the Department of Fine Art, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Like many artists Lyons augmented making sculpture by teaching, from which he retired in 1993 to concentrate fully on his own work and made the first of many visits to China. This heralded a number of working trips abroad, which include Italy, the United States, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

Lyons works to commission and has an impressive number of his sculptures in both public and private collections in Britain and in the countries he has visited. His first solo exhibition was held in 1971 at the Durham Light Infantry Museum and Art Centre and since then he has shown regularly in Britain and abroad.

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About Canary Wharf Group’s Public Art Programme

Canary Wharf has one of the UK’s largest collections of public art and provides year-round exhibitions by leading artists, all free to view.

In 2010 Canary Wharf Group won the Christie’s Award for Best Corporate Art Collection and Programme at the International Art and Work Awards, beating entries from around the world.

Canary Wharf’s permanent collection now numbers over 65 works of art, including stand-alone pieces and integrated artist-architectural works, all executed by some of the most inspired artists, designers and craftsmen of today. Among these are a lighting installation by Bill Culbert, bespoke railings by Bruce McLean, floor and wall mosaics by Emma Biggs, together with numerous sculptural works and site-specific commissions by artists including Eilis O’Connell, Charles Hadcock, Danny Lane and Wendy Ramshaw. An illustrated Art Map is available showing the locations for the works of art found throughout the Estate.

‘Sculpture at Work’, the programme of temporary exhibitions held in the Lobby of One Canada Square and Jubilee Park, celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2011 with the publication of ‘Sculpture at Canary Wharf: A Decade of Exhibitions’. Curated by Ann Elliott in collaboration with Canary Wharf’s Public Art team, the programme has shown more than 60 exhibitions in which over 150 artists have participated. Exhibitors have included Sir Anthony Caro OM, Lynn Chadwick, Laura Ford, Dan Graham, Charles Hadcock, Phillip King CBE PPRA, Eilis O’Connell, Wendy Taylor CBE and Franz West. Royal Academicians who have exhibited at Canary Wharf include Ivor Abrahams, Phyllida Barlow, Ann Christopher, Maurice Cockrill, Stephen Cox, Nigel Hall, Christopher Le Brun, John Maine and David Nash, and many younger artists have shown also their work here at the start of their careers.

The programme was pleased to show Bronze Sculptures from the Ingram Collection in 2013, featuring works by some of Britain’s most renowned artists.

About Canary Wharf Group plc

Canary Wharf Group plc has achieved one of the greatest feats of civic transformation – an iconic urban regeneration, designing and constructing over 16 million square feet of office and retail space across its 97 acre East London Estate.

There are more than 300 shops, bars and restaurants at Canary Wharf. The Group’s world-class Arts & Events programme includes over 100 events each year and more than 60 art works by 45 artists and designers is found throughout the Estate. Temporary art exhibitions run throughout the year, with recent exhibitors including Peter Randall-Page, Phillip King and Phyllida Barlow.

Canary Wharf Group won the Christie’s Award for Best Corporate Art Collection and Programme at the International Art and Work Awards in November 2010, beating entries from around the world.

20% of the Estate is landscaped parks, plazas and walkways with over 1,000 trees, 88 floral species and each year 70,000 seasonal plants are planted. Canary Wharf also has one of Britain’s highest concentrations of ‘green’ roofs, reducing energy use and encouraging biodiversity.

100,000 people work at Canary Wharf, with the population projected to double by 2025.

Canary Wharf Group plc is an integrated property development, investment and management group of companies.

Twitter: @yourcanarywharf