Art for London’s Elizabeth Line

By Patrick Burgoyne

London’s newest railway, the east-west Elizabeth Line, is due to open in late 2018. Stations along the route will house public artworks commissioned by The Crossrail Art Foundation.

Nine artists were asked to create new work sympathetic to the locality, history or function of the stations. The works will be installed in a variety of locations including halls, escalator shafts, platforms and other public spaces.

Installation view of Simon Periton’s Vicious Turquoise, to be installed at Farringdon. Photo: Stephen White

The Whitechapel Gallery exhibition, Art Capital: Art for the Elizabeth Line, features sketches, maquettes and prototypes to reveal the how the artists’ ideas will be transformed into the final works.

A series of bronze and aluminium boiler plated texts for the ticket hall and escalator areas at Bond Street by Darren Almond will evoke historic locomotives and expeditions.

Darren Almond, Departure, to be installed at Bond Street

For Tottenham Court Road’s western ticket hall at Dean Street, Douglas Gordon has created a neon sign “inspired by the 1960s nightlife of its Soho neighbourhood”.

Installation view of Douglas Gordon’s Revue, to be installed at Tottenham Court Road. Photo: Stephen White

At Liverpool Street, Conrad Shawcross has proposed a bronze sculpture to be placed outside the new western ticket hall at Moorgate while at the other end of the station, Yayoi Kusama will create a series of highly polished stainless steel sculptures that “will confront Liverpool Street commuters with imitations of infinity”, much like taking the train to Stowmarket.

The Whitechapel Gallery worked with the Crossrail Art Foundation to select Chantal Joffe as the artist for Whitechapel. Inspired by painters such as Matisse and Picasso, she made studies of passers-by on Whitechapel High Street one Sunday afternoon, to create portraits celebrating local people for the platforms of Whitechapel station.

Image shown top: Installation view at the Whitechapel Gallery
of work by Darren Almond. Photo: Stephen White. Art Capital: Art for the Elizabeth Line is at the Whitechapel Gallery, London E1, until May 6. Details here

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