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ARTIQ work closely with JLL and European Land to develop a public art installation to launch Merchant Square’s first ever ‘Mindful March’ series of events. ‘Flotilla’ is a multi part installation by artist Steve Messam, featuring a stunning armada of 180 light-up origami boats on the Regents Canal.

The work is designed to be a visual reminder to stop and take some time to reflect and experience some quality ‘me time’. The number of craft pays homage to the basin’s historical origins when it was a major transshipment facility, and a hive of activity. The artwork was launched with a public event for local workers, project partners and residents.

Each miniature origami ship is made from polymer paper that folds and behaves as paper, yet is waterproof and weather resistant. Every vessel is anchored but still able to move enough to react naturally to the effects of the wind and water.

Steve Messam’s stunning illuminated origami flotilla is the perfect visual reminder to stop, take a moment and enjoy the surroundings of Paddington Basin before heading into to the office or home. A place to obtain that true work life balance that we all aspire to in the centre of the London
– Andrew Scrivener, Chief Executive, European Land

Commenting on the installation, artist Steve Messam said: “I am delighted to be involved in launching Merchant Square’s Mindful March, there’s something always quite magical about floating artworks. They have a certain delicacy about them – the way they are constantly in motion with every slight breeze or movement of the water. The play of light and their reflections – by day and night – adds to their sense of fragility as paper boats in a once very industrial environment.