Inspired art at flagship John Lewis Stratford store
It has been created by husband and wife artists Juliet and Jamie Gutch who have called it An Exaltation of Larks. It is a 12m mobile made of aluminium and stainless steel representing larks in flight – for the new shop, which opens at Westfield Stratford City on September 13.
Stratford’s ethnic diversity and the surprisingly large numbers of skylarks in East London, which are declining elsewhere in the UK, inspired the artists to use the migratory bird, whose hovering flight works particularly well as a mobile.
Each piece in the mobile is connected and the movement of one triggers the movement of others so that each element of the mobile moves harmoniously around each other.
Artist Juliet Gutch said: “Skylarks are dull little brown birds on the ground but come to life in flight when the underneath of their wings flashes white. They are so joyful and vibrant when they are singing and that’s the feeling we wanted to create.”
The mobile will form a key feature in the distinctive glazed ‘prow’ of the landmark building, swirling upwards through the Espresso Bar and on up to the third floor and the Place to Eat. The complete length can only be seen from the outside in the Westfield shopping centre.
Nicola Bover, retail designer from John Lewis, who commissioned the piece, said: “We want art in our shops that engages customers but also has the potential to challenge and promote discussion. The piece Juliet and Jamie have created is truly stunning and when lit up at night, the view of the piece from outside the prow, will be magnificent.”