Specially commissioned artworks now on show on Elizabeth line

Customers using Transport for London (TfL)’s newly launched Elizabeth line can enjoy public artworks in stations and surrounding public spaces by acclaimed British and international artists including Turner Prize winner Richard Wright, British artists Chantal Joffe and Simon Periton, and American artist Spencer Finch.  

The artworks pay homage to local areas and communities, wach artwork having been designed to interact both physically and conceptually with individual stations, demonstrating the benefit of site-specific commissioning.  

Across the central section stations of the Elizabeth line, customers are currently able to view the following artworks:  

‘A Cloud Index’ by American artist Spencer Finch at Paddington station. The 120-metre long and 18-metre wide artwork features 32 different types of clouds drawn in pastel by the artist and printed onto glass panels, creating a picture of the sky in the tradition of English landscape paintings by Constable and Turner. It can be seen on the station canopy in the concourse area by the ticket gates of the Elizabeth line station 

Simon Periton, Avalanche, 2016. Farringdon station (Elizabeth line). Courtesy the artist and Sadie Coles HQ. Photo credit: GG Archard, 2022

‘Avalanche’ by British artist Simon Periton at Farringdon station. ‘Avalanche’ features the tracery of large diamonds as a nod to the goldsmiths, jewelers, and ironsmiths of the nearby Hatton Garden. It can be found in the western ticket hall of the Elizabeth line station at Farringdon.

‘no title’ by Turner Prize winner Richard Wright at Tottenham Court Road station. It features an intricate, geometric gold-leaf pattern, hand gilded by the artist and a team of assistants. It can be found on the ceiling above the escalators in the Elizabeth line Tottenham Court Road station eastern ticket hall, located at Charing Cross Road 

‘A Sunday Afternoon in Whitechapel’ by London-based British artist Chantal Joffe at Whitechapel station. The artwork reflects the local east London community enjoying a typical Sunday afternoon. It can be seen spanning across the station’s platforms

‘Transitions’ by Israeli artist Michal Rovner at Canary Wharf station. It is a video artwork installation which is 16 metres long capturing architectural elements, monuments and movement of people throughout history and time. It is located at Crossrail Place which leads down to the Elizabeth line station ticket hall. 

Michal Rovner, Transitions, 2019. Canary Wharf, Crossrail Station (The Elizabeth Line). Photo credit: Michal Rovner Studio.

In addition to these artworks within the new Elizabeth line stations, British Afro-Caribbean artist Sonia Boyce OBE RA – who recently won the Venice Biennale’s top Golden Lion prize – has created an artwork titled ‘Newham Trackside Wall’. At more than a mile long, it is one of the longest artworks in the UK and runs through Custom House, Silvertown, and North Woolwich. The artwork is deeply reflective of the local community with contributions from over 170 testimonies from local residents woven into the final piece. ‘Newham Trackside Wall’ was commissioned by Crossrail, curated by UP Projects and engineered by Atkins.

Eleanor Pinfield, Head of Art on the Underground, said: “I am delighted that customers using the newly launched Elizabeth line can enjoy major art installations across the central stations by acclaimed British and international artists. The opening of the line sees a huge expansion in artworks that can be enjoyed by the public as they make their journeys in London. We invite the public to step out of their daily routine to observe civic spaces anew.”  

The Crossrail Art Foundation was founded in 2014 with support and funding from the City of London Corporation to establish and maintain a public art programme for the central Elizabeth line stations. The Crossrail Art Programme by the Crossrail Art Foundation aimed to link the stations to their local area and create inspirational spaces through a line-wide public art exhibition.

Newham Trackside Wall by Sonia Boyce OBE RA, 2021, Photo credit: Thierry Bal

Michael Cassidy CBE, chairman of the Crossrail Art Foundation said: “This moment marks the magnificent culmination of a decade-long process to create an arts legacy to match the engineering triumph of the Crossrail venture. At no cost to the railway project itself, the charity set out to deliver individual experiences at the below-surface stations that enhance the traveller environment and provide a talking-point relating to where each venue sits. We trust that the programme will excite and intrigue all who pass through.”

Title image credit: Chantal Joffe, A Sunday Afternoon in Whitechapel, 2018. Whitechapel station (Elizabeth line).

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