Liminal - River Thames, London

Liminal is inspired by the paintings of the River Thames by J.M.W Turner, Whistler and Claude Monet. The aim is to capture an ethereal quality that is rarely obtained when you look at the surface of the river. The River Thames is opaque and mysterious giving you no idea of its depth, what lives in it or its liquid history.

 The artwork encourages the public to look again and view the river through a mercurial and kaleidoscopic lens which creates an architectural painting of the river and its context.

 The artwork blurs the boundaries between 2D and 3D through a variety of mirror, satin and matt aluminium panels that focus and alters viewers’ perception and experience of the river. The sculpture also includes a downloadable app called Liminal which is connected to a sonar buoy; this expresses the real time movement of river life and currents, sourced directly in front of the sculpture, as light and sound. 

 The installation is a result of a design competition organised by the London Festival of Architecture and the City of London Corporation and forms part of City’s outdoor arts programme, Fantastic Feats: the Building of London. It is sited opposite Tate Modern next to Millennium Bridge.

 Liminal expresses my first impressions of the river and suggests the life, mystery and activity that lies beneath it.”

Wolfgang Buttress

Soundscape: BE

Acoustic Engineers and App developer: Hoare Lea

Structural Engineering: Price & Myers

Film: Sam Scales

with thanks to

International Aluminium Institute

The Shepherd family






London Festival of Architecture

City of London Corporation

Rothschild Foundation

Liminal - River Thames, London

Liminal - River Thames, London

Liminal detail - River Thames, London

Liminal detail - River Thames, London