Public Art Commissions:
Jo Chapman


Jo Chapman commission for Blackwall Reach, Poplar, East London

Artist Jo Chapman undertook detailed research into the history of the local area and this inspired the thinking behind the steel sculpture in Station Square entitled ‘Blackwall Line’ installed in spring 2020. Based in Blackwall in 1910 the Hercules Rope Works specialised in making an ‘unkinkable’ rope. The shipping industry quickly adopted this rope which was particularly associated with lifeboats. A rope knot known as the Blackwall Hitch was used to set up rigging when the lanyard was short. The particular form of the ‘Blackwall Line’ sculpture is derived from the shape of this knot. Set into the granite base of the sculpture is a text taken from the 1912 memoir of Walter Downie, a Blackwall midshipman. In a second, related work a painterly abstraction of the knot, interwoven with imagery of River Thames water, is etched into the glazed wall along the pedestrian route to the north of Station Square.

This work was commissioned by Swan Housing and Jeni Walwin was the Public Art Consultant on the project

Jo Chapman, Blackwall Line, zinc coated steel, 2020
Jo Chapman, Blackwall Line, long view, 2020
Jo Chapman, Blackwall Line, Walter Downie's text set into granite base
Jo Chapman, Blackwall Line, etched glazing