The Best of "Love in London"
Updated: Sep 28, 2021
To celebrate love in lockdown, we've dived deeply into our London photo archive, searching for the most poignant, cheeky, fun, and vibrant signs of love around the city. Displayed in art galleries or on the pretty streets of Chelsea, love-inspired signs, designs, artworks, and events have always found their way throughout London. Let's take a trip down memory lane and see the capital in rose-tinted shades!
"Summer of love" flower displays in Chelsea (2018)
Every year, in May, as the Chelsea Flower Show rolls into town, the Chelsea in Bloom competition turns the entire area into a lively, glorious burst of color and floral scents.
Hackett London won a Gold award with their vintage “summer of Love” bus. Featuring 2000 roses and 8000 Red Carnations, it was imagined to escort Hackett men to the Royal Wedding.
Streets, restaurants, hotels, and shop windows across Sloane Street, Pavilion Road, and Duke of York Square are invaded by spectacular creations. In 2018, the theme was “Summer of Love,” to celebrate the Royal Wedding.
Maddox Gallery's Valentine's day Facade (2020)
The Love Lambeth sign at the Lambeth Country Show
The Lambeth Country Show is an annual celebration of the very best of the countryside and city. It’s one of the biggest public events in the UK. Attended by an average of 120,000 people, it usually takes place in July.
To boast the distinctively urban south London vibes, organizers entice audiences with an eclectic mix of attractions from the traditional country show, to flower competitions, craft & food stalls, and a rich mix of music (dub, disco, folk, afro-beat, ska, and soul).
Chubby Hearts Over London (2018)
"Chubby Hearts Over London" was a design project imagined as a love letter to the city of London by fashion designer Anya Hindmarch in partnership with the City of Westminster, the Mayor of London, The British Fashion Council, local councils, businesses, and even the Civil Aviation Authority.
For a whole week in 2018, from Valentine's Day and throughout London Fashion Week, huge, chubby, inflatable love hearts had been suspended above famous landmarks throughout the capital, from Granary Square, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Chelsea Barracks, to The Ritz and Covent Garden.
Anya Hindmarch, the creative mastermind behind the project, said: "The idea came to me whilst sitting in a packed Royal Festival Hall. I was in awe of the resilience of Londoners and its visitors. Tying giant helium filled Chubby Hearts onto buildings all over the city is a long-overdue "surprise love letter to London" as a tribute to its strength and to celebrate our amazing creative city."
The Mayor of London said: "As London Fashion Week showcases the capital to the world, these huge heart balloons animating our great spaces and architecture will show once again that London is open to talent and creativity and gives it a warm welcome."
Banksy’s "Vote to Love" at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Exhibition (2020)
First displayed in The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2018, Banksy’s "Vote to Love" expresses the artist’s anti-Brexit message through an altered Vote to Leave placard, where a red heart-shaped balloon turns the word "Leave" into "Love."
At the divisive British referendum organized in 2016, 59.9% (2.26 million) of Londoners voted in favor of remaining in the EU. In some areas of the capital, the remain vote even exceeded 70%.
Banksy’s piece being featured in the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Exhibition (and auction) signals the optimism and inclusion much-celebrated particularly across the multicultural communities who live in London.
"Amor" - Sculpture by Robert Indiana at Sotheby's
Tracey Emin's "Not to love the person you are with is a crime," at White Cube Bermondsey Gallery
Tracey Emin’s cathartic exhibition at the south London gallery was titled “A Fortnight of Tears,” and invited visitors to a powerful meditation on love, loss, and insomnia.
A cheeky artwork at Central Saint Martins
Art Night is London’s free contemporary art festival, taking place every year around King’s Cross and Walthamstow. In 2019, the Central Saint Martins College Of Art And Design Degree Show was included in the festival and visitors could admire their fresh graduates' portfolios and newest creations. One of the artworks was a "Rest in piss" installation (we've been trying to identify the author, but no success so far). Whoever it is, congrats on the originality! We included it in this selection because its playful bitter-sweer take on two serious matters - death and love - resonates perfectly with London's "love or hate" potential.
We hope you liked our selection of cheesy, sarcastic, funky, daring, and beautiful Signs of Love around the city we all adore. One thing is certain: London is never boring!
Now let's keep on spreading the love and more than always, let's look out for each other.
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