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Who we are

The Line is an ambitious public art project in East London that connects Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2, following the waterways and the line of the Greenwich Meridian. Our mission is to connect communities and inspire individuals through a dynamic outdoor exhibition programme where everyone can explore art, nature and heritage for free.

We focus on collaborative engagement projects that support wellbeing and learning, as well as providing opportunities for young people to develop skills and improve employability.

At The Line, we value an open, inclusive and nurturing environment to promote collaboration, creativity and wellbeing. We aim to listen and learn from the people we connect with, including visitors and programme participants.

The Line believes in the transformative impact of art and nature, and we are committed to increasing access to the arts through our programmes and challenging barriers to participation.

The Line is a registered charity (no. 1190073 / company limited by guarantee no. 12392898).

 

History

The Line was co-founded in 2015 by its Director, Megan Piper, and the late regeneration expert Clive Dutton OBE (1953-2015) whose life’s work was rooted in a commitment to improving the quality of life for people in urban environments. The project was established to democratise access to art by introducing sculptures that were previously hidden from public view into the public realm for audiences to experience for free. Collaboration with local stakeholders and grassroots organisations were key to the development of The Line and continue to be fundamental to its success.

Initiated through a Spacehive crowdfunding campaign, which raised over £140,000 in less than eight weeks in 2014, The Line went from being the seed of an idea to opening to the public in just 18 months. In May 2015, The Line unveiled monumental sculptures along the footpaths of East London’s waterways. The inaugural loans, which included Eduardo Paolozzi, Abigail Fallis and Thomas J Price, came through an open submission and were selected by a panel that included Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger and Simon Myers, local resident and founder of Cody Dock. Alongside loaned artworks, The Line also highlights a number of pre-existing works along the route, including Antony Gormley’s Quantum Cloud, Richard Wilson’s A Slice of Reality and Anish Kapoor’s ArcelorMittal Orbit.

In 2020, The Line celebrated its fifth anniversary with the extension of its route into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, its first site-specific commission and the launch of its digital guide with Bloomberg Connects, the free arts and culture app. In 2022, The Line expanded both its team and board of trustees and launched three new site-specific commissions, which were complimented by a wide-ranging multi-disciplinary engagement programme.

2023 Youth Guides

The Youth Guides programme is now in its third year. The 2023 programme will employ 24 local young people as Guides and 6 former Youth Guides as Supervisors during the summer months, with guides stationed at the House Mill, Cody Dock, the Royal Docks and this year at Greenwich Peninsula for the first time. This will not only increase the number of beneficiaries but also allow for greater dialogue between young people from neighbouring boroughs.

“I feel much more confident putting myself forward for roles which involve public engagement and public discussion about art. This has boosted my self-esteem.” Youth Guide

Piloted in 2021, the programme has so far successfully employed 41 local young people as part of the scheme with a 97.5% retention rate. In 2023, the guides training has included contributions from partner organisations including Art UK, UAL (London College of Fashion), Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust and the House Mill as well as artist Helen Cammock.

The Youth Guides programme 2023 is generously supported by Cathy Wills Charitable Trust, Freelands Foundation, Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, funded by Westfield Stratford City and Visit Greenwich, and delivered by Foundation for Future London, Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust, The Mayor Gallery and patrons who wish to remain anonymous.

The Youth Guides will be stationed on The Line between every Saturday and Sunday between 1-5pm from 15th July – 24th September 2023 and at the Tributaries exhibition Thursdays – Sunday, 1-5pm, 15th July – 8th October.

2023 Youth Guides Producer: Matilde Lai

2023 Youth Guides Supervisors:

Fiza Abbas, Zainab Ahmed, Anna Davidge, Akif Rahman, Summayah Syed and Nihar Tanna.

Youth Guides:

Anna Zareva, Ariana Islam, Ava Hodgson, Charmaigne Turay, Emily Gorst, Evan Usher, Fawziyah Ali, Gohar Javed, Ilhan Mahmed, Iqra Shahban, Jennifer Ubenyi, Juliet Iswuamadi, Maliha Khadija Chowdhury, Mariam Sharaf, Memika Bickle, Nusaiba Raunaque Sayed, Raidah Ahad, Ria Rafiqul, Samuel Ullah, Syeda Shakila Islam, Zakwan Hamidi and Zarin Tasnim.

Developed in collaboration with London College of Fashion as part of Visible / Invisible.

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