Lock art

On London’s Lovelock Bridge, artists call for hostages’ release

Padlock installation on pedestrian bridge outside UK Jewish community center is expanded with artistic works to raise money and awareness

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

Artist Abigail Schama's ceramic padlock for the hostages at London's Lovelock Bridge, an installation opening June 5, 2024. (Courtesy)
Artist Abigail Schama's ceramic padlock for the hostages at London's Lovelock Bridge, an installation opening June 5, 2024. (Courtesy)

Several dozen artists adorned 54 padlocks that will be exhibited on a London pedestrian bridge, created as a collective call to release the remaining hostages held captive in Gaza.

Called “Lovelock Art,” the exhibit will be launched June 5 and remain through June 20 on the renamed Lovelock Hostage Bridge at London’s Jewish Community Center (JW3), which has become the UK’s monument in support of the hostages and their families.

The Lovelock Hostage Bridge was initially created by artist Marcel Knobil with 100 padlocks, each inscribed with the names of those taken by Hamas terrorists on October 7 to Gaza, and with some of the padlocks left blank to represent those hostages who have died.

The installation is located on the walkway outside JW3, London’s main Jewish community center in Camden.

Supporters added thousands of more padlocks over the ensuing months.

Knobil asked 54 artists to participate in his installation, by crafting imagery and adornments that serve as a potent reminder of the hostages’ ongoing captivity.

Artist Laura Godfrey-Isaacs created a padlock painted with the words, “My Heart Bleeds” to convey her own visceral response to the hostages.

Georgiana Dacombe’s decorated padlock for the hostages at London’s Lovelock Bridge, an installation opening June 5, 2024. (Courtesy)

Georgiana Dacombe painted the eye of hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin, aiming to paint it from a time when Goldberg-Polin had no pain or fear but when he could look straight, directly at the camera and innocent of the future. Others channeled the red-headed Bibas brothers and other hostages whose stories resonated with them.

The first 54 people who donate at least 150 British pounds to the Hostages and Missing Families Forum will each receive one of the padlocks.

A gallery of the padlocks and the opportunity to donate is viewable at the Lovelock Art website. Visitors can see the exhibit in person from June 6-20, 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Lovelock Hostage Bridge, JW3, 341 Finchley Road, London.

Lovelock Bridge in London, which has become a monument to the Hamas hostages. (Courtesy)

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