Watermark

Digital ceramic print on glass, RGB LED Lighting
Lombard Wharf, Wandsworth, London
Commissioned by Barratt London

Watermark imagines the course of a fictional river which has carved its way through the contours of Lombard Wharf compressing the curved layers that make up the 28 storeys of the tower. It has been inspired by the architecture of the building, but also the hidden and lost rivers of London such as the Falconbrook which flowed nearby and whose presence is reflected in some of the local street names and establishments.

The contours eroded by this fictional river have taken their form from the meandering curves of the River Thames mapped from its source to mouth. The map was divided into sections which we traced, then overlaid on top of one another. Between each of these a further set of contours were generated to create the undulating surface of Watermark.

Watermark was digitally printed with ceramic inks onto double glazed panels and is installed along a ground floor section of Lombard Wharf. Colour changing LEDs illuminate the glass from behind to change the mood and appearance from day to night.

Watermark was designed to engage with the pedestrian on different levels. Subtle references to the area’s past can be discovered amongst the contours of Watermark’s illusory space. Lavender (a crop once grown in this area), a falcon and the lattice of iron work from Cremorne Bridge all cast their shadows across the undulating surface of Watermark. The Thames was once described by John Burns (1929) as liquid history and traces of its influence continue to flow through the fabric of the city and its myriad of stories.

A community engagement project with local Falconbrook Primary School informed our research and development of the artwork.