Three metres tall and formed from 700 kilos of bronze, Serenity is a major landmark visible across Hyde Park from half a kilometre away. It is named after the feminine archetype of creation, the Egyptian Serenity and protector of children. Simon Gudgeon’s distinctive sculpture, based on the form of the ibis, is perfectly elegant as it gazes across the Serpentine, its green patina strongly reflecting nature, ecology and the parkland setting. The artist has a pareddown approach to sculpture that captures movement and emotion in marvellous visual harmony.
The commissioning of Serenity for Hyde Park – the first public sculpture to be placed there for over 50 years – has brought a welcome twenty-first-century contribution to a Royal Park where the fountains, memorials and other statuary are principally Victorian. It marked the beginning of a visionary project to raise £2.2 million for a newly designed youth education centre in the Look Out area of the park. Following an innovative philosophy that integrates public art with educational and environmental concerns, Halcyon Gallery worked in partnership with The Royal Parks Foundation, a charity founded in 2003 to help conserve London’s eight Royal Parks and make them a significant part of people’s lives through such activities as wildlife protection, landscape restoration, art workshops and community education.
Serenity was unveiled in September 2009 on the banks of the Serpentine and, in addition to donating the sculpture in Hyde Park, the gallery further pledged a contribution of £1,000 for every Serenity piece sold subsequently. One thousand plaques were offered for private individuals to purchase and use for personal dedication of their choice and three collection boxes were installed at the base of Serenity to encourage participation from the public.
Hyde Park, London
Installed September 2009
300 x 115 x 110 cm
Edition of 8 plus 2 artist’s proofs