Myerscough and Morgan make Love on the Southbank

With typical typographical panache, Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan have created a temple of love on London’s Southbank

With typical typographical panache, Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan have created a temple of love on London’s Southbank

The Temple of Agape was commissioned by the Southbank Centre for its summer Festival of Love and is say its creators, “a celebration of the love of humanity, one of the seven Ancient Greek themes of love represented at the Festival”.



CR readers will be familiar with the pair’s earlier temporary constructions which similarly feature handpainted board affixed to scaffolding (we ran a major profile piece on Myerscough in our May 2013 issue too). As Myerscough told the audience at the Designival conference in Liverpool last week (hosted by CR editor Patrick Burgoyne) the structures are inspired by those encountered by Myerscough in India and elsewhere in Asia where bamboo is used extensively for scaffolding as well as the Watts Towers in LA. The vibrant colours and handpainted lettering are similarly inspired.



All photographs above by Gareth Gardner


The idea of the festival is to showcase love in all its forms. A series of weekends will explore the seven Ancient Greek themes of love (Agape, Storge, Pragma, Philia, Philautia, Eros & Ludos) through an array of workshops, performances and installations. The Big Wedding Weekend will act as the finale. To celebrate the year in which same-sex marriage became legal, all couples, gay or straight, young or old, are invited to marry or renew vows on the stage of the Royal Festival Hall.

The temple developed from this initial sketch by Myerscough



which was then develped into a model



Over 300 wooden panels of varying sizes were painted in Myerscough’s studio other a three week period with the help of two assistants, Lizzie Toole and Kathryn Cross, and a group of volunteers.



The final temple stands 8m high and 12m wide and was contrsucted with the help of specialist scaffold engineers Tubular Techniques Limited and scaffold contractor Castle Scaffolding

A neon-ribboned 60m canopied series of love benches leads to the entrance of the temple.

Photograph above and all those below by Gareth Gardner



The visitor can then journey through or stop and sit in the dappled lit temple and then proceed up the flight of stairs festooned with banners and signs that form parade to the next level of the Southbank Centre. The installation creates the chance for visitors to experience new views and a new entrance to the Royal Festival Hall balcony for the duration of the festival.



“The Temple stands proud like a peacock with its giant Martin Luther King quote, expressing the power of love to the world,” say Myerscough and Morgan. “Inside its heart is calm and dappled with light for contemplating complex emotions, a place that can transform with Love expressed within.”


Client: Southbank Centre
Curator: Georgia Ward, Southbank Centre
Producer: Beth Burgess, Southbank Centre
Project Manager: Paul Denton, Southbank Centre


The Southbank Festival of Love also features work by illustration collective NousVous who were asked to illustrate each of the seven Greek categories of love



  • Im not too sure whether to be happy or to be sad that love finally finds the heart of london, after the summer of love fizzled out into the years of thatcher and finally the bombing runs into the middle east and now the demise of your caring empathic NHS. go love, little temple, teach the bankers to feel.

  • Love every retina burning inch. Wish we had more oversized, visual playgrounds like this

    Wonder what they’re going to do with it when it’s finished with. Wouldn’t mind getting my hands on one of those ‘LOVE’ signs. Would make an amazing headboard

  • vikki

    Mind blowingly brilliant. I LOVE this. So glad you guys had the vision and skill to create this in the world. More please.

  • Ed

    ‘Volunteers’ = unpaid interns?

    May have found a neat new little phrase to get round all the pesky paying wages stuff. They’re volunteers!

  • Wonderful colours and imagination. I was lucky enough to see Morag give a talk earlier this year. Very inspiring.

  • Saw this whilst smashed on the Southbank last weekend. Looked awesome.