Located on the most central corner of Hyde Park, Circadian is the result of eight years’ work by London-born artist Lee Simmons, who has spent this time imagining and crafting a sculpture which connects two new buildings, The Bryanston and 5 Marble Arch, to its nearby natural surroundings
The sculpture resembles a flora-like form bursting from the ground, growing towards the natural light and facing one of the world’s most famous parks, Hyde Park. Circadian is made entirely of steel, reaching 11m in height, and is inspired by the circadian rhythm, the natural cycle which acts as a biological timekeeper for living organisms.
The rotated cantilever at the sculpture’s base creates a sense of movement and reflects the ever evolving and changing nature of the circadian rhythm. This feeling of growth and fluidity, along with the form’s upwards trajectory, evokes the heightened senses of spring, when flora bursts into life; whilst the static nature of Circadian means visitors may feel as though the artwork has been frozen in time, in a constant state of animation.
Its thoughtful south-west facing position, along with the sculpture’s stainless-steel finish, means that Circadian reacts to the changing light throughout the day and year. The soft matte finish holds light in an unexpected way for a utilitarian material such as stainless-steel, and adds another dimension to the piece.
Simmons earned recognition for previous site-specific sculptural pieces, including V&A Dundee, Grandioso 77 Wimpole Street, and The Great War Memorial on Victoria Street, and therefore appreciated the contextual importance of his sculpture with its proximity to one of the world’s best-known and loved parks.
10 years ago, I would look out from my bench at the Royal College of Art’s Kensington campus and see the treetops of Hyde Park which face Marble Arch, and I remember thinking at that time how beautiful and special the park is to London.
Circadian aims to recreate this feeling, and I wanted to capture the public’s imagination in the way the view did for me.
Lee Simmons, Artist