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Monira Al Qadiri: Devonian

PAST EVENT
5 Aug –⁠ 6 Nov
Riverside Terrace, Level 2
Art & exhibitions
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Monira Al Qadiri, Devonian (2022) installation view of a colourful sea creature sculpture at Southbank Centre
Monira Al Qadiri, Devonian (2022). Photo Rob Harris

Monira Al Qadiri’s mesmerising outdoor sculpture, the second Bagri Foundation Commission, reanimates the ancient sea creatures that form today’s fossil fuels.

Many of the oil deposits being extracted in the northern hemisphere were formed from the remains of the animals, plants and microorganisms that existed on Earth during the Devonian period, nearly 400 million years ago.

Also referred to as The Age of Fish, it’s famous for the thousands of species of fish, crustaceans, shellfish and marine plants that developed during this era.

The word Devonian comes from Devon, England, where the old red sandstone containing these fossils was first studied.

In this towering sculpture, these fantastical, almost alien-like creatures – whose remains we currently use for fuel and plastics via petroleum – come alive again on our Riverside Terrace.

Al Qadiri crystallises the moment oil was formed by animating the bodies of its original creators using her signature iridescent colours with an oil-like sheen.

Devonian highlights the fragile nature of our dependence on fossil fuels by visually connecting the past and present of these Devonian beings, and questions their place in our collective future.

Monira Al Qadiri is a Kuwaiti visual artist based in Berlin, Germany. Spanning sculpture, installation, film and performance, Al Qadiri’s multifaceted practice explores unconventional gender identities, petro-cultures and their possible futures.

Devonian is the second of three annual commissions presented by the Hayward Gallery in partnership with the Bagri Foundation to bring new public art commissions by artists from or inspired by Asia and its diaspora to the Southbank Centre.

Supported by the Bagri Foundation

Dates & times

5 Aug –⁠ 6 Nov

Price

  • Standard entryFree

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Venue

Outdoor spaces

As we welcome you back, our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff, so we’ve introduced a number of measures to help everyone stay safe. 

Find out about our measures

Check our event pages for opening dates and times.

Our address is: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.

  • The nearest tube and train stations within 5-7 minutes walk are Waterloo (Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines) and Embankment (District & Circle lines).
  • There are also lots of bus routes with stops 2-5 minutes from our venues. For more information on getting here by road, rail or river.

Visit our Getting here page

Toilets

Toilets, including accessible toilets, are open on Level 2 of the Royal Festival Hall for ticket holders and those attending Riverside Terrace events. 

Cloakroom

The Royal Festival Hall cloakroom is in the Green Side Foyer, Level 4. It’s £1 per item, card only. The cloakroom opens about an hour before ticketed events, and closes around 15 minutes after the performance ends. It can be accessed via Lifts 2 & 3, Green Side, Royal Festival Hall. The Queen Elizabeth Hall cloakroom is closed. 

Any sized item can be left in our cloakroom, including fold-away bicycles. We don’t accept non-folding bicycles. Items must be collected on the same day they are stored. From time to time, the cloakroom may not be available. You won’t be able to bring any bags over 40 x 25 x 25cm into the auditorium of the Royal Festival Hall or the Queen Elizabeth Hall, or into the Hayward Gallery, so please leave large bags at home.

Items are left in our cloakrooms at the owner’s risk, and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage, from any cause, to these items.

Entering the hall

There may be short queues to enter the building and the auditorium. If you are not able to queue or need further assistance, our Visitor Assistants are here to help you. 

For level access to the Royal Festival Hall, please use the external lift near the Artists' Entrance on Southbank Centre Square, Belvedere Road, to Level 2, and enter via Riverside Terrace. All floors are accessible from the main foyer.

We welcome wheelchair users and guide companion dogs.

Download step-free access map

More about Access & facilities

Parking

Blue Badge holders and those with access requirements can be dropped off on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road off Belvedere Road (the road between the Royal Festival Hall and the Hayward Gallery).

There are four Blue Badge parking spaces available for visitors located on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road. Spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and are free to use. You must display your Blue Badge as you enter the site. Vehicles that do not display a Blue Badge are refused entry.

Blue Badge parking at National Theatre

Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can be found at the National Theatre car park (330 metres). If you are visiting the Hayward Gallery, just take your badge and car park ticket to the Ticket Desk in the gallery foyer for validation before you leave.

Please note: on Sunday when the National Theatre building is closed there is no step-free access from the car park.

Alternative parking is available nearby at the APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park (490 metres), subject to charges.

Blue Badge parking at APCOA Cornwall Road

Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can also be found at the South Bank Car Park – APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park. Just take your badge and car park ticket to the parking attendant office at the entrance to the car park for validation before you leave.

A drop-off point at the Royal Festival Hall (30 metres) has been created for visitors who are unable to walk from alternative car parks.

Our Access Scheme

If you have any access requirements, please sign up to our Access Scheme for discounts, wheelchair spaces, dedicated seats and free companion tickets. You can also join our mailing list to get news about accessible events and exhibitions.

Email us (Monday - Friday)

More about our Access Scheme

There are a wide variety of restaurants and cafes to enjoy around our site, as well as the Southbank Centre Food Market. 

Where to eat & drink