This bold, geometric work captures the psychology of a city and its key protagonists. It is joyful, playful and uncomfortable, and has a humorous yet uncanny quality. The artist has used the colours of the different Underground lines from Harry Beck’s iconic Tube map to create a new symbol for the front cover of the pocket Tube map.
Through its apparent simplicity the composition subverts our assumptions about our individual journeys, prompting a double-take as we work out why it seems so familiar. The result is an image that conveys balance and movement that extends beyond the confines of the paper, creating a completely new atmosphere and a positive energy.
Responding to the context of the Underground, this work highlights the multitude of journeys undertaken on the network, whilst spotlighting the individual. The image can be seen as a metaphor: London as a microcosm for the entire world with almost every race, culture, nationality and religion living side by side.
This vibrant, abstract diagram depicts a series of interactions, encouraging us to think about a journey – not a linear journey from A to B but more a slippage where thoughts and interactions occur that cannot be measured or contained. There is a psychedelic intensity to the patterning that reveals the artist’s meditative state and dynamic vision.
The design is a memory audit of the Tube-line colours, cunningly subjecting objective facts and figures to the eccentricities of our consciousness. With no definitive beginning or end, the artwork alludes to a larger repetitive pattern that could feasibly go on for eternity.
The artist said: “The blocks are spreading out over the earth and beyond, onto the infinite great universe. Like these blocks, London is a progressive and ever changing force with a spectrum of colours that echo a vibrancy of life and how brilliantly it shines!”
“The spectrum and colours also hold specific meaning of their own, echoing a stained glass window. For me this reference seemed appropriate because so many of us, including myself, depend on the Tube, its iconic map and London’s huge transport system in order to go about our day-to-day lives.”
“The work is a way of depicting a series of interactions, a subjective way of streamlining perception of multiple chains, movements and interlapping spheres of activity. My work always involves notions of what public space is. I always treasured the London Tube map as a form of Monopoly and my work is not that different.”
Art on the Underground's Curator said: “This commission for the Tube-map cover celebrates the superb quality and range of work being produced by established artists working today and continues London Underground’s tradition as a patron of the arts.”