• A collection of Henry Moore’s ‘Draped Seated Woman’images

New sculpture in Cabot Square

Henry Moore’s ‘Draped Seated Woman’ – affectionately nicknamed ‘Old Flo’ by residents of the Stifford Estate in Stepney where she resided from 1962 to 1997 – returns to the East End on 22 October, after 20 years on loan to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The bronze sculpture was created in 1957/58 by Moore, arguably Britain’s most important modern sculptor, as an edition of six plus an Artist’s Proof. This cast was originally acquired by London County Council as part of the LCC’s Patronage of the Arts Scheme to site works of art in housing estates and other public spaces, for the enjoyment of the local population. The sculpture was located on the LCC’s newly built Stifford Estate in 1962, remaining there until 1997, soon after which the estate was demolished. Since then the sculpture stayed in Yorkshire, overlooking the landscape and enjoyed by the Sculpture Park’s many visitors.

Following Mayor John Biggs’ pledge to bring ‘Old Flo’ back to the borough, Tower Hamlets Council, judged to be the rightful owners of the sculpture, ran an open bidding process and Canary Wharf Group was successful in providing a new home for this monumental work of art for the next 5 years. The location for the sculpture is Cabot Square, overlooking Middle Dock and accessible to all who pass by.

A programme of celebrations, education and outreach will be rolled out while Old Flo is at Canary Wharf. Anyone who would like to receive updates on these activities is invited to contact Canary Wharf at oldflo@canarywharf.com.

A display celebrating the return of ‘Old Flo’ to Tower Hamlets and telling the story of how Henry Moore’s sculpture came to reside on the Stifford Estate is shown in the Community Gallery in Canada Place from 20 October to 2 January.

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