World Environment Day: Canary Wharf Unveils New Artwork Made from Second-Hand Clothes – 06.06.22

  • The piece was installed for World Environment Day and will sit in Jubilee Place mall until end of July
  • Urban Refuge was created by artist Ian Berry with denim donated in April’s Swap Station initiative
  • Over 400kg of clothes was collected for Love Not Landfill charity

Canary Wharf has unveiled Urban Refuge, a striking new artwork for World Environment Day, 5th June, created with second-hand denim donated to the Estate’s first Swap Station.

Launched on Earth Day, the Swap Station clothes donation bank allowed shoppers to give in their old clothes in return for shopping vouchers from a range of retailers at Canary Wharf. Denim items such as jeans, jackets and accessories were selected by Berry who spent the last six weeks transforming them into a piece of exclusive art, which will sit in the centre of Jubilee Place mall for six weeks.

The artwork was designed as a pergola-style installation that shoppers can walk through or simply stand in for a few peaceful moments. Pieces of denim of different sizes were cut into the shapes of flowers and plants using a lasering technique and then meticulously attached, one by one, to the base structure of the pergola.

Any clothes not used for the art was donated to Love Not Landfill, a non-profit campaign to encourage fast fashion fans to buy second-hand, swap, recycle and give to charity. They collected more than 400kg of clothes.

The Swap Station campaign forms part of Canary Wharf’s ongoing investment in public art and sustainability. Urban Refuge joins over 110 works by over 50 international artists currently in place around the Estate, with new installations and exhibitions launching throughout the year.

Poplar-based artist Berry is world-renowned for his work turning old denim into striking visualisations, notably creating celebrity portraits including Debbie Harry and Giorgio Armani. He is known for intricate works depicting real life in collections including Behind Closed Doors and My Beautiful Launderette in 2016 and Hotel California in 2019.

Artist Ian Berry said: “It’s been incredible to be part of this project that’s all about helping the environment while providing a unique piece of art for people to enjoy. The donations by Canary Wharf’s community exceeded every expectation – no one thought it was going to be anywhere near 400kg! I can’t wait for the Wharf’s shoppers, workers and visitors to come and see my unique piece, I’m confident they’re going to love it.”

Leanne Peters, Director of Marketing from Canary Wharf Group, said: “The Swap Station partnership with Ian Berry highlights how Canary Wharf’s community, sustainability and culture values can come together to create something beautiful.  We’re proud to promote both sustainability and art in innovative and impactful ways, most recently through our partnership with the Eden Project and further additions to our public art collection which Urban Refuge will join.  It’s brilliant that so many items of clothing were donated by our community to contribute to this special project. Working with Ian has been a pleasure and we look forward to welcoming visitors to view the final piece.”

Canary Wharf is the UK’s leading sustainable developer and the Swap Station campaign forms part of Canary Wharf’s wider Conscious Consumer initiative, which encourages visitors to live, eat and shop locally through sustainable retail choices, refillable water stations, transport links, extensive green spaces, and plastic-free lunch spots.

Home to its extensive art collection and with sustainability at its core, Canary Wharf is a 24/7 city where people can work, live and thrive and enjoy all the benefits; great transport links, access to green spaces and waterside living; and a huge range of activities and amenities.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Press Office
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: 020 7418 2166
E: pressoffice@canarywharf.com

Notes to Editors

About Canary Wharf Group:

Canary Wharf Group (CWG) is the developer of the largest urban regeneration project in Europe. CWG develops, manages and currently owns interests in approximately 9 million square feet of mixed-use space and over 1,100 Build to Rent apartments. 

CWG is the largest sustainable developer in the UK and also excels operationally as it purchases 100% electricity from renewable sources since 2012 and zero waste to landfill since 2009. 

CWG has created a 24/7 city where people can live, work and thrive on the Canary Wharf estate and enjoy all the benefits: great transport links, access to green spaces and waterside living; and a wide range of amenities including an award-winning arts and events programme. Canary Wharf’s retail offering comprises over 300 shops, including grocery stores, pharmacies, health clubs, bars and restaurants, all within 15 minutes’ walk.

The Company’s current £2bn construction activity and pipeline includes more than 500k sq ft NIA of commercial properties and over 2,300 new homes for sale and rent.

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About Ian Berry

Originally from Huddersfield, Ian Berry is a Poplar-based visual artist. Throughout his career, Ian has created personalised portraits for the likes of Debbie Harry, Jennifer Saunders, Giorgio Armani, Lapo Elkann, and Gisele Bündchen.

His most celebrated artwork is a creation commissioned by legendary Formula One driver Ayrton Senna, using his family’s jeans and in support of the institute in his name. His work has been showcased around the world, giving a chance for people to see the work in person. After a successful show at the Museum Rijswijk in The Netherlands, Ian Berry’s current major exhibition is Material World at Textil Museet in Sweden, the National Textile Museum of the nordic country opening 23 October 2021 to 1 May 2022. In Germany he takes part in BLUE JEANS | KULT. KOMMERZ. KUNST. at the Museumsquartier Osnabrück.

His well-known shows have included Behind Closed Doors and My Beautiful Launderette in 2016 and Hotel California in 2019. In San Francisco he has unveiled permanent installation of the Secret Garden at the New San Fran Flower Mart.