LONDON, England – Heathrow is co-funding an impressive new work of art with the City of London Corporation in the new Paddington Crossrail station.
A Cloud Index by international artist Spencer Finch will see different types of clouds printed onto the glazed canopy above the station ticket hall. They will create a picture of the sky which will appear to change according to the light, the direction of the sun and the time of day.
The artwork was selected by an advisory Round Table in collaboration with Lisson Gallery and station architects Weston Williamson. It will be part of Crossrail’s Culture Line, an exhibition of large-scale art across central London Crossrail stations. It has been created in collaboration with London’s leading art galleries and Futurecity, a cultural and placemaking agency.
Artist Spencer Finch said: “I want to create a visual experience for travellers that changes each time they pass through the station. This artwork will exist both as an artificial cloudscape and as a homage to the British obsession with categorizing and systematizing the most fugitive of natural phenomena. Since Luke Howard first created a nomenclature for clouds in 1803, the efforts to comprehend and quantify clouds have been both beautiful and quixotic, and clouds always seem to stay one step ahead of human understanding.”
Heathrow’s CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “We are incredibly proud to be part of the Culture Line and to support Crossrail’s work to connecting Heathrow with with The City, Canary Wharf and East London. Crossrail will transform journey times across London, take nearly 2 million cars off the road by the time it opens in 2019, and ultimately help us to ensure more than 50% of our passengers use public transport at an expanded Heathrow by 2030.”
Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman said: “Spencer Finch’s art is beautiful, ambitious and intelligent. It will leave a legacy for future generations, helping to maintain London’s reputation as a global capital for arts and culture. I would like to thank Heathrow for joining the City of London Corporation and contributing towards the Culture Line, which has good momentum as we get closer to Crossrail opening in 2018.”
Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation said: “Crossrail is the most important infrastructure development for London in recent years, helping us remain a globally competitive and world-leading city. However, the project also offers the chance to leave a fantastic cultural footprint for future generations to enjoy which is why we are delighted to half-fund the Crossrail Art Foundation and the Culture Line.”
The Culture Line falls outside Crossrail’s £14.8 billion core funding. The Crossrail Art Foundation is raising funds for the individual artworks from corporate funders. The City of London Corporation has also agreed to support the Crossrail Art Foundation by match funding the contributions received from the corporate funders. Commissions for artworks will also focus initially on the new Crossrail stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf.
An estimated 25 million people a year are expected to use the Crossrail station at Paddington when the new railway opens in 2018.
Improvements at Paddington include the Paddington Integrated Project (PIP), a close collaboration between Transport for London, Network Rail and Crossrail to create an integrated station with improved passenger experience and easy interchanges. As part of this, a new Hammersmith & City line station has been built to ease over-crowding, along with a new pedestrian entrance to the canal towpath and a new taxi facility to the east of the existing station.
Crossrail will carry over 200 million passengers per year, adding 10% to central London’s rail capacity. It will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of London’s key employment, leisure and business districts and encourage regeneration all the way across the capital.
Passengers from business district Canary Wharf will be able to travel to Heathrow in under 40 minutes without changing trains.