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RA250 Flags

The West End celebrates 250 years of art

Piccadilly, Regent Street, Bond Street and Regent Street St James’s, London

4 Jun — 30 Jul 2018

With Grayson Perry’s Summer Exhibition taking over our cultural campus, look out for four flag installations designed by Royal Academicians spilling onto the streets of Mayfair and St James’s throughout the summer of 2018, the RA’s 250th anniversary year.

To mark the momentous occasion of the RA’s 250th anniversary and annual Summer Exhibition, from June to August art is spilling out into the streets of Mayfair and St James’s.

Taking over Piccadilly, Regent Street St James’s, Bond Street and Regent Street respectively, Royal Academicians Grayson Perry, Cornelia Parker, Rose Wylie and Joe Tilson have decorated the streets with installations of over 200 flags throughout the summer.

Rose Wylie decided to use details of her recent Lolita’s House series for the flags of Bond Street. The title references a house across the street from Wylie’s Kent home in the 1970s, where the neighbour’s teenage daughter would often wash their car in the driveway. It continues her ongoing fascination with the shifting nature of memory and the multi-layered external associations that become attached to it over time. On Regent Street, Joe Tilson drew inspiration from his paintings of “the historical architecture and churches of Venice, a theme I have been exploring for the past ten years. I first visited Venice in the 1950s, and have remained deeply connected to the city ever since.” The paintings themselves will be on display in the Summer Exhibition 2018.

For Piccadilly, Grayson Perry designed new works, explaining that he “wanted them to be like a series of doodles and sketches that just came about spontaneously, the subjects just popping up from what was preoccupying me at the time. The main influence on the style is from Asafo flags traditionally made by the Fante people of West Africa.” Cornelia Parker’s Regent Street St James’s flags are taken from her One Day This Glass Will Break series, which she describes as “recent photogravure prints I made using familiar everyday objects. They are inspired by the still-lives of William Fox Talbot, the 19th-century early photography pioneer who invented both the photographic negative and the photogravure process. But my still lives are not so still, the prints I created with my own hybrid of his techniques capture moments of flux. The images become re-animated when the wind blows.”

RA250 flags is organised by the Royal Academy of Arts in partnership with Heart of London Business Alliance, New West End Company and The Crown Estate, celebrating 250 years of art in the West End with four major artists’ commissions, as part of the RA’s 250th anniversary.

4 June — 30 July 2018

Piccadilly, Regent Street, Bond Street and Regent Street St James’s, London

Free