• Florentijn Hofman Commission

    Tues 2 – 30 Sept / Free event

    River Thames at Riverside Gardens, Nine Elms Lane, London SW8 2DU

    Untitled1Rubber Duck (2013)

Something large, very large is coming to the Thames this September!

Renowned Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman will create an extraordinary new sculpture, his first UK commission, which will be situated in the River Thames at Nine Elms on the South Bank for the month of Totally Thames.

Inspired by the fascinating prehistory of the Thames, the installation will be semi-immersed in the river and will rise and fall with the tide. Hofman is known for scaled-up sculptures, such as Rubber Duck which travelled to several major cities in 2013, from Auckland and São Paulo to Hong Kong. Hofman’s sculptures often originate from everyday objects.

The design of Hofman’s Totally Thames commission is a closely guarded secret until Tuesday 2 September when it will be towed upriver from its build site to its end position at Nine Elms on the South Bank, an emerging new cultural destination with Vauxhall at its heart; the last piece of the South Bank jigsaw.

I am thrilled and excited to be using the Thames as the location of my first UK commission. The purpose of setting my sculptures in the public domain has always been to give members of the public a break from their daily routines, to inspire conversation and to cause astonishment. I hope the location of my sculpture on the Thames will inspire passers-by to engage with its surrounding area of Nine Elms on the South Bank, and to discover the various other events within the Totally Thames programme celebrating London’s river. Florentijn Hofman


About Florentijn Hofman

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman (Delfzijl, 1977) likes his works large, very large. His monumental sculptures conjure up humour and sensation. His most well-known work Rubber Duck (2007), a 26-metre-high inflatable yellow rubber duck, signified his international breakthrough. The rubber duck has been travelling the world ever since. Everywhere it moors – from Auckland and São Paulo to Osaka – it is bound to cause a spectacle.

Everyday objects like a paper boat, a pictogram of an industrial zone or little plastic toy figures are at the root of Hofman’s images. These ready-mades are blown up to gigantic proportions, in a resemblance to the visual language of Pop Art. The Kobe Museum of Art, the Nantes Biennial, Z33 in Hasselt and SESC in São Paulo are among the institutions that have recently commissioned works by Hofman.

Florentijn Hofman was educated at the Art Academy Kampen and the Kunsthochschüle in Berlin. He lives and works in Rotterdam.

How to get there

Nearest tube: Vauxhall
Nearest pier: St Georges Pier

Stepped access to the foreshore is available for three hours a day at low tide.


Age group: All ages

This piece is commissioned by Thames Festival Trust with the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, Wanda One (UK) and Vauxhall One; with support from Wandsworth Council, Lambeth Council, Bellway Homes, Ballymore Group, Battersea Power Station Development Company, Citygrove, CLS Holdings, St James Group, Berkeley Homes, Barratt London, Thames Tideway Tunnel and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


River Thames at Riverside Gardens, Nine Elms Lane, London SW8 2DU