Sunday, 3 April 2011

Tube Life

Art On The Underground is an on-going project that wants to "Provide a world-class programme of contemporary art that enriches the Tube environment and our customers’ journey experience; and continues the long-standing tradition that excellent art and design is at the core of London Underground's identity and services."

So many times i went past this image on the bys on my way into Elephant at Southwark station;
This piece is called Linear by Dryden Goodwin and consists on 60 portraits of staff on the jubilee line. Each drawing is quite intricate and i find the piece itself such a great idea.

Once, i was on the district line sat opposite a woman who was completely absorbed in her sketch. As i was coming to my stop i stood up and looked at what she was sketching and realised it was the bloke who i'd been sat next to. At first it looked like scribbles and she was not at all embrassed that people were looking at her and as she carried on it turned into this perfect portrait of this man. I can't stop wondering why she was doing it. Was she actually an artist or just..practising?

Although there's many negative things about using the tubes (sweaty people, stuffy air, a very u nispiring view) there's one thing i love about it. As no one has signal on the tubes no one can use their phones. And there seems to be this unwritten rule not to speak too loudly or indulge too much in conversation on the tubes. For that small period of time that i'm on the train i can sit surrounded by people but without any contact or communication. People might listen to music or read their books/newspaper but everythings feels extremely calm and to be honest- it's really nice. Then followed by the chaos of changing tubes and leaving the station it seems like a strange juxtaposition but one that i'll continue to do occassionally while i live in London.

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