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  • Finished 6 – 15 August

    City of London & Royal Docks

    An artist rocks up, builds a shelter and declares herself free. 

    So in 1965 my mum and dad book a holiday to the Isle of Wight; my mum’s pregnant with me. Dad gets a bit wary and writes to the hotel saying that we’re coloured and would it cause any problems as they don’t want to travel all that way, what with my mum’s condition, to be turned away. 

    The hotel writes back cancelling the reservation. This time, I’m just rocking up. I’m bringing my own house and my own teacups. You’re welcome to come help me build my shack and take tea with me, but I’m coming whether you like it or not.” 

    – Sonia Hughes 

    This outdoor live installation is artist Sonia Hughes’ attempt to claim space, to make a declaration of freedom, to un-write that letter. Setting herself up in the City of London and the Royal Docks she’ll build a temporary dwelling. We can help or witness. From far away London looks like a shiny glittering melting pot. Let’s see shall we? 



    LIFT is following government and industry guidelines to ensure we are creating safe environments for audiences, participants, artists and staff. You can read more details about our safety measures on our Covid Guidelines page.

    Artist: Sonia Hughes (West Midlands, UK)

    Free and unticketed

    Durational public art in 4 iconic locations


    City of London:

    6th August – 12pm-7pm

    Aldgate Square

    what3words: ///page.stored.years


    7th August – 12pm-7pm

    Carter Lane Gardens, St Paul’s Church Yard

    what3words: ///sticky.activism.pretty


    Royal Docks:

    14th August – 12pm-7pm

    RAW Labs Pump House Square

    what3words: ///fault.memo.others


    15th August – 12pm-7pm

    Crystal Gardens

    what3words: ///easy.statue.music

    A LIFT, Royal Docks Team and City of London Corporation presentation.

    Commissioned by LIFT, SPILL Festival, and Jerwood Arts in partnership with Royal Docks Team, City of London Corporation, Festspillene I Nord-Norge (Norway), SPRING Performing Arts Festival (Netherlands) and ILT Festival (Denmark).

    Presented as part of the City Corporation’s Outdoor Arts Programme, A Thing of Beauty, and supported by Cockayne Grants for the Arts, a donor advised fund at the London Community Foundation.