Art in the Park

You can find more of the Serpentine’s programme in the beautiful surroundings of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.

Ian Hamilton Finlay Benches

On the grounds of the Gallery is a permanent commission by the Scottish poet and artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. The work comprises eight benches, a tree-plaque, and a large, complex inscription at the Gallery’s entrance.

Commissioned as part of the gallery’s recent renovations, these are the first of Finlay’s works to be situated in London and were dedicated to the late Princess of Wales, the Serpentine’s Patron from 1993 to 1996.

”The circle sits just outside the gallery entrance and contains the Latin and English names of trees from the park: oak, lime, elm, copper beech, poplar, alder, ash, yew, hornbeam, chestnut, hawthorn. Inside six tight outer rings I put a beautiful quotation from the eighteenth-century philosopher Francis Hutcheson: ‘The beauty of trees, their cool shades, and their aptness to conceal from observation have made groves and woods the usual retreat to those who love solitude, especially to the religious, the pensive, the melancholy, and the amorous.’ The centre was blank. It was as though that space had been left to take Diana’s name.” – Ian Hamilton Finlay

TDL - PP6

The Deep Listener, Jakob Kudsk Steensen

Download the app to join an augmented reality ecological expedition through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, a journey to see and hear Jakob Kudsk Steensen‘s interpretations of some of the species that live in the Park: London plane trees, bats, parakeets, azure blue damselflies and the reedbeds.

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Christo and Jeanne-Claude, The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park, 2016-18 Photo: Wolfgang Volz © 2018 Christo

London Mastaba in AR, Christo and Jeanne-Claude in partnership with Acute Art

Revisit one of the best-loved public artworks of recent years, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The London Mastaba, on your mobile phone. The London Mastaba AR (Hyde Park) (2020) is an augmented reality replica of the iconic sculpture installed in The Serpentine lake in 2018.

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Henry Moore at the Serpentine: 80th birthday exhibition of recent carvings and bronzes
Henry Moore View of The Arch (1980), marble version created and donated by the artist following the exhibition Henry Moore at the Serpentine: 80th birthday exhibition of recent carvings and bronzes, Serpentine Gallery, London (1 July - 8 October 1978) Photograph © 1980 The Department of the Environment

The Arch by Henry Moore

The Serpentine presented a major exhibition of Henry Moore’s work in 1978, marking the iconic British sculptor’s 80th birthday. Ten of his large bronze sculptures were displayed throughout Kensington Gardens that year.

Two years after the exhibition, Moore presented the work The Arch (1980) – a six-meter-high Roman travertine sculpture situated on the north bank of the Long Water – to the nation for Kensington Gardens. The sculpture was made from seven travertine stones weighing a total of 37 tonnes, sourced from a quarry in northern Italy. The Arch was taken down in 1996, was restored, and in 2012 was repositioned in its original location in Kensington Gardens by The Royal Parks and The Henry Moore Foundation. A bronze version can be found at Moore’s home in Perry Green, while a fibreglass version can be found in the gardens at RHS Wisley.

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Archive

Discover 50 years of the Serpentine

From the architecture pavilion and digital commissions to the ideas marathon and the General Ecology programme, explore 50 years of artists, projects and exhibitions.

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