Inside Morden tube station in the Borough of Merton. How pretty!
Getting your art on the cover of a pocket tube map is a big deal. Think about it. This commission guarantees a month of massive exposure- and it’s costing you nothing ( other than the effort it takes to carry out the work). These maps are available at stations throughout London, especially the biggest tourist hubs. Your art could end up all over the world, packed in the suitcases of travelers, and treasured long after the holiday trip is over, taking on a new life as souvenir.
The pocket map highlights notable artists and, in many cases I’m sure, introduces their work to the general public. I think this speaks to the government’s esteem of both the creative class and the public at large.
Besides integrating various colors to signify the different tube lines, there don’t seem to be any constraints on where the artist can take the design concept. Some, like David Shrigley, make clear reference to public transportation; his tangled ball of lines suggesting noise, crowds, confusion, speed, the hubbub of a city on the move.
Eva Rothschild’s design conveys transportation in a more calm and orderly fashion. The colors make your eye travel the circle in a clockwise direction. The circle suggests forward motion, the procession of time, and linkage, which is basically the tube’s purpose.
Barbara Kruger interprets the design challenge by simply taking a detail of the map where all the lines intersect, and renaming the stops. In doing so she subverts the map’s very function. She plays a game of word association, replacing ‘Victoria’ with ‘Pride’ and ‘London Bridge’ with ‘Vigilance’, turning something inherently objective into something subjective.
Michael Landry’s All my lines in the palm of your hand also adds a personal nature to the map. The lines on the hand, Landry’s own, map out a personal journey or fate; as unique as that of every Londoner riding the tube. The tube is a means to a million ends. Everyone you furtively glance at in your particular car is embarking on a venture that is totally their own. All of you are sharing this communal means of transport to arrive at generally separate destinations: your first day of school, meeting your lover at the airport, going to hospital to see a newborn nephew, or simply going home after a long day at work.
I wonder why the TFL goes through the trouble of printing a new map each month?There is no practical reason to put art on the cover of a map; there is no need to entice anyone into reading something so practical and necessary. Is the TFL worried that a plain looking map will decrease ridership and stunt tourism? Perhaps the Art on the Underground series is used to subliminally convey that the Underground is keeping up with Londoners, and it’s a constantly improving and sophisticated system. Or maybe it’s an effort to humanize an intimidating city for visitors, settling those jagged nerves of first timers and and giving them a little inspiration to make the city their own.
Tube Strike. And a rightful one, at that. #tfl #london #uk #england #tube #underground #transportation #strike #voice (at King’s Cross St. Pancras London Underground Station)
This girl really run up her oyster card bill to £-616.29. Where the fuck were you travelling to, Hogwarts? Heaven? For £616 that train bettter have taken you to wherever the fuck Wayne Rooney’s hairline is hiding.
Historical Poster: “Be Map Conscious”, London Transport, 1945
Here’s another beautiful old London Underground poster that features the Tube map, apparently produced to help servicemen unfamiliar with London get around. The poster, which basically acts as a Tube Map for Dummies guide, was placed next to the map in stations, with the abstract guard pointing towards it. The “tear-away” section at the bottom right shows a slightly modified version (angles aren’t at 45 degrees, the Aldwych spur is missing) of the central part of the map, which would have been this 1943 edition.
The artist was Polish-born Jan de Witt (1907-1991), signed as “Lewitt-Him” on the poster.
(Source: Creative Review)
Shoreditch Tube Station, looking towards Liverpool Street Station, 1991. Shoreditch was the northerly terminus of the East London Line until its closure in 2006.
; This is “tube map” by artist Tracey Emin - work which I have found inspiring. (Where are you?) Simple context, clever idea.
Shoreditch Hight Street
East London Line Station
First in a series of images on the new East London Line Stations.
I love the confidence of this building - the power of that concrete “tube” flying through the air. Apparently it will be surrounded by retail opportunities which is why its required in the first place - seems a shame to me to cover it up!
My friend James lives very close to Shoreditch High Street. If not for Shoreditch High Street as a marker I think I would have been unable to find my way home many times from staying out late in East London.