A new addition to the public art in Canary Wharf is the arrival of Henry Moore’s ‘Draped Seated Woman’ which was nicknamed ‘Old Flo’ by residents of the Stifford Estate in Stepney where she resided from 1962 to 1997. For the last 20 years, the sculpture has been on loan to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The bronze sculpture was created in 1957/58 by Henry Moore based on drawings he took of people sheltering from the Blitz. The sculpture was originally acquired by London County Council as part of the LCC’s Patronage of the Arts Scheme to site works of art in housing estates and other public spaces, for the enjoyment of the local population. The sculpture was located on the LCC’s newly built Stifford Estate in 1962, remaining there until 1997 when the estate was earmarked for demolition.
‘Old Flo’ has been the subject of some controversy in the past regarding ownership, however Tower Hamlets Council have been judged to be the rightful owners of the sculpture, and Canary Wharf Group will provide a new home for this work of art for the next 5 years. Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs who ’ pledged to bring ‘Old Flo’ back to the borough was at hand to promote its return. The location for the sculpture is Cabot Square, overlooking Middle Dock.
A recent post about public art and disappearing statues illustrates that many public works of art often are put into storage and forgotten about. Therefore it is nice to see that a piece of work by one of the most famous British sculptors has returned to the East End and can be enjoyed by the general public.
I thought I recognised her. I’m a regular visitor to the wonderful Yorkshire Sculpture park and I’m sure I must have a million photographs of her in her usual spot – which is gazing out over rolling hills and countryside. I’m sure she’ll have tales to tell when she gets back. Look after her.
Wonderful to have her home.
Agree with you, we just need to find Diana from Island Gardens now.
Not quite so nice view now, but she is back in the East End.