Crossrail Unveils Permanent Art exhibition In Eight London Stations

The Culture Line

A series of Large-scale artworks will be permanently integrated into the new stations to deliver a vibrant transport experience for generations to come. The Culture Line is part of a wider focus to regenerate areas both within and around the new stations. The project will colour the blank canvas that will be the new Crossrail stations and create a cultural experience for passengers.

Crossrail is taking a unique step to work with eight of London’s leading commercial art galleries to assist in inviting world leading collaborative artists to submit proposals for the eight station installations. Crossrail’s stations will become art galleries showcasing large scale artworks by some of the world’s most renowned artists, resulting in the largest collaborative art commissioning process in a generation.

Crossrail Chairman Terry Morgan said: “The scale of the world-class new stations we are building create a blank canvas for artwork produced by leading artists. Working collaboratively with leading art galleries we shall engage eight internationally recognised artists to create a permanent line-wide exhibition across the eight central Crossrail stations. When Crossrail is finished it will not only be a functional transport system, but a cultural destination for everyone to enjoy.”

Crossrail has opened discussions with potential sponsors for The Culture Line, with the successful funders receiving the unique opportunity to have their name permanently associated with iconic artwork that will appear is some of world’s most well known station locations.

Crossrail has unveiled the first artwork to be selected, with international artist Spencer Finch’s A Cloud Index to be built into the 120 metre long and 20 metre wide glazed station canopy at Crossrail’s new Paddington station.

The result will create both a picture of the sky in the tradition of English landscape paintings by artists such as Constable and Turner, but also a taxonomy of more than 25 different types of clouds.

The successful artworks are being selected by an advisory Round Table of representatives from national and local arts organisations and commercial galleries.

Susie Allen, prominent art curator and one of the five arts representatives on the Round Table to select the artwork said: “A Cloud Index by Spencer Finch is intelligent, extremely ambitious in its scale and will be breathtakingly beautiful.  It will constantly change according to the light, the direction of the sun and the time of day. Spencer will be making a scientifically researched seamless collage of the cloud formations, an index of clouds seen in the various UK destinations of the trains leaving Paddington station. It will create a heady and memorable cocktail of science, art and romantic journeys for anyone travelling through this wonderful new Crossrail station.”

Artist Spencer Finch said: “I am thrilled about this project. No one believes me when I say this, but English clouds are really different from American clouds, they are closer to the horizon, denser, and move across the sky differently. I am so excited to have this opportunity to get to know these English clouds and do something beautiful with them on a grand scale. The opportunity to work on a cloud piece at this scale is totally irresistible, and I am confident that the subtly and complexity of this project will enhance the experience of the beautiful new Paddington Crossrail station.”

Covering a 2318 square metre space and longer than a football field, the glazed canopy will consist of 200 panels each 6.1m by 1.9m. The canopy will be next to the Grade 1 listed existing Paddington station.

Among the galleries already identified to work in partnership with Crossrail are Lisson Gallery for Paddington station, Victoria Miro for Liverpool Street, Gagosian for Tottenham Court Road, White Cube for Bond Street station and Sadie Coles for Farringdon. Crossrail is in discussions with other renowned galleries for the remaining stations at Whitechapel, Canary Wharf and Custom House.