MY FAVOURITE VIEW
Designer Kelly Hoppen loves Henry Moore’s sculpture, The Arch, in Kensington Gardens
I first came across Henry Moore’s sculpture The Arch during a morning run in London’s Kensington Gardens,
and I’ve found myself drawn to it ever since – it’s become a firm fixture on my route. The Roman travertine arch is six metres high and is an incredible piece of sculptural art in the most gorgeous setting.
It’s so fantastically positioned – from one side you can see right through it across the Serpentine to Kensington Palace in the distance. From the other side, you’re looking at a wonderful expanse of greenery, with just a hint of the city peeping through the top of the trees. This really is a little portion of the countryside in the heart of central London and it is just so serene and idyllic.
Running is a fantastic way for me to clear my head, so I’ll often be in Kensington Gardens by myself, and always early in the morning as I find that it’s the perfect start to my day. Being somewhere with an inspiring view is such a good motivator for the day ahead. The Arch was taken away for a lengthy restoration, and was only returned to the gardens a few years ago. As much as I enjoy it when I’m alone, I also adore walking here with my family, so being able to admire the sculpture and surrounding views with my daughter, Tash, my grandson, Rudy, and my partner, John, is just as lovely.
The wonderful thing about being out in Kensington Gardens is that it can look incredible in any weather, crisp in spring with the newly
budding flowers, or in autumn with gorgeous russet leaves all around. But I much prefer the view there when there’s a clear sky and the sun is shining. For me, this sculpture is so enigmatic, and the way it plays with light is incredible. It looks quite different every time I see it, depending on the weather or position of the sun. In midsummer, the arch really just comes alive in the sun because of the unique shadows it creates... although that is dependent on the British weather, of course!
There is nothing quite like the countryside and
woodlands, it’s so verdant and peaceful. What I love about Britain is that you can drive half an hour outside of a busy city and find yourself surrounded by the most gorgeous woodlands and natural parklands. I’m particularly inspired by my surroundings, and few things have quite as much of an effect on me as being outdoors. My daughter, son-in-law and grandson live outside of London, and we have a house in the countryside, so I’m fortunate to spend my (limited!) spare time making the most of the outdoors.