30 Jul 2014 • Installation
Temple of Agape by Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan
The Temple of Agape, a temporary installation commissioned by the Southbank Centre in London for its summer ‘Festival of Love’, was created by Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan as a celebration of the love of humanity.
The temple opened its doors last month and will welcome visitors until the end of August as part of the festival which showcases love in all its forms. A series of weekends will explore the seven Ancient Greek themes of love through an array of workshops, performances and installations. Artists Myerscough and Morgan were commissioned to represent ‘Agape’, one of the seven ancient themes (the others being: Storge, Pragma, Philia, Philautia, Eros and Ludos).
The festival organisers were inspired by what Martin Luther King said about love and asked the artists to incorporate these words into their temple. The artists state, ‘Love is the most emotive subject and to be asked to consider how to express Agape – the love of humanity – was hugely challenging and thought provoking. Building a temple of love felt right, making a place for joy and noise as well as quiet contemplation.’
The colourful construction stands out as a beacon of love, beginning with a neon-ribboned 60-m-canopied series of love benches which lead to the temple. At the entrance, a flight of stairs takes visitors on a joyful parade to the next level of the Southbank Centre. The temple stands 8-m high and 12-m wide. Made from a scaffold structure, supporting hundreds of words and clad with hand-painted plywood exterior. Inside, its heart is calm and dappled with light for contemplating those complex emotions; it is a place that can transform with the love expressed within.
The Temple of Agape creates a vibrant statement: ‘Our temple is bold and brash, telling you to come on over! I'm well-dressed and ready for love! Come in, come in!’
The Festival of Love runs until 31 August 2014.
Photos Gareth Gardner.