The sculpture "Habitat" is part of a set of 11 works by contemporary artists of various nationalities exposed outdoors in places from sidewalks, gardens, to church atriums, garden benches or even on top of trees.
Made of metal, it was designed to provide a game of perspectives, where on one side it is possible to see the silhouette of a tree and on the other a person, inviting visitors to approach and circulate around.
"One of my concerns with this project was to create a simple and interactive sculpture to talk about the balance or lack thereof, between human beings and nature", Pires explained to Agência Lusa.
The work will gain a new dimension on July 23 during the nightly event "Nocturnal Creatures" with a sound installation designed to generate an additional sensory experience for visitors.
"The audience may be confronted with the sound of the sea or the wind and then, or even at the same time, with the sound of a factory or a person's breathing," he revealed.
For the artist, participating in this initiative in London will give his work a "visibility that is unique". "I especially enjoy working on public sculptures so I hope this presence will have positive consequences for future projects," he told Lusa.
The festival features sculptures such as a huge "toast" in cement, by Sarah Lucas, where many people sit down to eat lunch, an olive tree trunk covered with aluminum paint, by Ugo Rondinone, and printed enamel nests. that Victor Seaward devised in order to receive birds.
In addition to the 11 works commissioned for this edition of the festival, six more sculptures remain from last year's edition and two were made permanent after being acquired by local companies.
Artistic director Stella Ioannou stressed that, in the aftermath of the pandemic, she wanted the pieces to express "optimism" and enter into dialogue with the varied architecture of the neighborhood, which combines glass-enclosed skyscrapers of banks and insurance companies with churches and buildings. old.
"It's a lively and fun art project, an ever-evolving and changing sculpture park in a unique part of London. We are privileged to work in an area with such a strong identity," he said, describing the initiative as an "urban art gallery ".
The initiative is a way to liven up the streets and also to attract people to the 'city', a neighborhood dominated by offices where only 65 percent of workers have returned, sometimes only a few days a week, showing that many remain telecommuting.
"Before the pandemic we had over 230,000 visitors just to see this project. We know we are competing well with the big museums, but we are doing it in a way that is more democratic because it gives people everyday experiences of public art" , Simon Glynn, head of urban planning at the City of London Corporation, the local authority, told Agência Lusa.
Born in 1978 in Luanda, Pedro Pires studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon and completed a Masters in Visual Arts at the Central Saint Martins School of Art in London.
He has already exhibited in countries such as Serbia, Canada, Nigeria, South Africa, France, Australia and the USA and the work is represented in private and public collections, namely at the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal (Canada), PLMJ Foundation (Portugal), at Mishcon de Reya Collection (United Kingdom), Coca Cola Collection (South Africa) and at Banco Económico (Angola).