Piccadilly Art Takeover descends on London’s West End

Adding a little joy to your day, the Royal Academy of Arts and Art of London have literally brighten up the streets around Piccadilly Circus with colourful public art works…

Photo: Art of London

One of the largest public art takeovers the capital has seen, The Piccadilly Art Takeover sees 30 hanging flags and 13 pedestrian crossings adorn Piccadilly Circus and its neighbouring West End streets. And they’re there to stay until August 31.

Flags were designed by Michael Armitage, Farshid Moussavi, and Yinka Shonibare. Photo: Art of London

In addition to the flags and crossings, there will be weekly takeovers of the Piccadilly Lights, which will regularly screen previews of a longer 30-minute work which will be shown in full at the end of August.

Footage seen on Piccadilly Lights is combined with augmented reality technology allowing audiences to listen along on their mobiles and connect to an immersive screening of the projected work.

Five Royal Academy associated artists designed the art to welcome back people to the West End – one of London’s oldest cultural districts – following recent lockdowns.

Artists include Michael Armitage, Farshid Moussavi OBE RA and Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, who designed the hanging flags, painter Vanessa Jackson RA who created the 13 pedestrain crossings, and filmmaker and installation artist Isaac JulieCBE RA, whose work will be displayed across Piccadilly’s large screen. 


The Piccadilly Art Takeover kicks off the Art of London summer season which is a three-month programme spread across the West End.

The Piccadilly Art Takeover kicks off the Art of London Summer Season. Photo: Art of London

This includes The Augmented Reality Art Gallery, which takes you through the West End’s back streets and laneways while showcasing paintings from the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Academy.

Art of London is a public art initiative supported by the Mayor of London, Sky Arts, Piccadilly Lights and Westminster City Council.

Piccadilly Art Takeover is on until August 31. For more information, head to artoflondon.co.uk