Temple of Agape at the “Festival of Love” in London

“I have decided to stick with love”This beautiful thought was put in words by the great American humanitarian Martin Luther King and has resonated well into the hearts of the Southbank Centre team and artists Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan. The duo along with a bunch of enthusiastic volunteers have created The Temple of Agape, a temporary installation commissioned by Britain’s leading arts institution, Southbank Centre for their “Festival of Love” in London.

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Front View (Photograph by Gareth Gardner)

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Front View Details (Photograph by Gareth Gardner)

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Side Views (Photograph by Gareth Gardner)

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Details (Photograph by Gareth Gardner)

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The Temple of Agape is a celebration of the love of humanity, which happens to be one of the seven ancient Greek themes of love represented at the festival. Agape is the kind of love which makes us sorrowful when we hear of a crisis in another nation (or our own); that inspires us to contribute our time or money to charity; and makes us feel connected to people we don’t know simply on the basis of our shared experience as human beings.

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Scaffold Passage (Photograph by Gareth Gardner)

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Scaffold Details (Photograph by Gareth Gardner)

The temple is created from a scaffolding structure dressed with exterior plywood. Before installing the wooden panels on to the framed structure, they were painted at Morag’s studio over a period of three weeks with the assistance of Lizzie Toole, Kathryn Cross and a bunch of creative volunteers.

The installation consists of a 60 meter canopied series of love benches which lead to the entrance of the temple. The visitors could simply pass through or spend a few moment in the speckled lit temple before proceeding up the flight of stairs adorned with colourful banners and signs.

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Love benches leading to the temple entrance (Photograph by Gareth Gardner)

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Temple Interiors (Photograph by Gareth Gardner)

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“Our temple is bold and brash, telling you to come over and ‘look at me! I’m well-dressed and ready for love! come in, come in!’. The temple stands proud like a peacock with its giant Martin Luther King quote, expressing the power of love to the world. Inside its heart is calm and dappled with light for contemplating complex emotions, a place that can transform with love expressed within.” – explains a passionate artist duo Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan.

“Working on the project has reinforced for us that love in all its guises is not simple. At the same time, when you are in love, it can be the purest and simplest place to be.”

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Painted wooden panels at Studio Myerscough (Photograph by Super Group London)

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Myerscough and team on the job (Photograph by Super Group London)

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Artist Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan with team of volunteers (Photograph by Super Group London)

The Temple of Agape makes me entirely want to believe in the words of Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle – A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.

+ Morag Myerscough

+ Luke Morgan

+ Southbank Centre

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