Beautiful new permanent artwork is on display in the Bell Lane Creek after Tideway finished work at its Dormay Street site as part of the super sewer project.
The site was required at this location to allow for the launch of a small tunnel boring machine (TBM) to create a connection tunnel linking Wandsworth to the main tunnel.
TBM Charlotte was launched twice from Dormay Street – building both halves of the Frogmore Connection Tunnel on separate tunnelling drives: north to Carnwath Road in Fulham, and south to King George’s Park in Wandsworth.
Once fully operational, the 1.1km tunnel will reduce sewage spills into the Wandle (a tributary of the Thames) by more than 95%.
And now, with the works complete, all that remains at the site is permanent artwork by the artist Yemi Awosile, entitled Extract and Distil.
The artwork comprises a series of four sculptural elements fixed to the fenders protecting the intertidal terraces within the Bell Lane Creek, off the River Wandle.
Sir Henry Wellcome, who founded a pharmaceutical company and a philanthropic trust, had his first factory nearby.
So, as a creative point of entry, Yemi’s research looked at Sir Henry’s personal archive of medical glassware. He collected over 5,000 pieces of apothecary glassware used to store, boil and distil chemicals.
Her work is based on an interlocking system of modular patterns inspired by organic chemistry, which Yemi modified to incorporate visual aspects of the molecular structure of histamine.
Extract and Distil works with the architectural infrastructure of the waterway to integrate the river into the design, capturing the reflective qualities of the water and enabling light to pass through the negative space in the metal.