December 11 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Commuters are being warned to be aware of roller-blading aliens, Bigfoot, flying saucers and the vortex between the train and the space ranger from today.
Don’t worry though, aliens haven’t taken over the Tube network - the announcements are part of the latest commission for Art on the Underground.
Those travelling on the Central line at Notting Hill Gate and Bethnal Green stations will be greeted with imagery iunspired by outer space travel, running the full length of the escalators, and intergalactic station announcements written and recorded by children, complete with a specially composed musical riff.
Announcements include references to an intergalactic toy museum and the Lunar Express, and also guide people to what can and can’t be done in the stations - invisibility, for one, is forbidden.
Transporter is the branchild of Ghanaian-born artist Harold Offeh, who worked with west Londoners aged 11 to 19 from the Canalside Activity Centre and Baraka Youth Association on the project.
Offeh said: “There is wonderment in disappearing into a ‘black hole’ in the ground and being transported and arriving at completely different location.
“This idea of the Underground as an everyday transporter, like the teleportation machine in Star Trek, inspired us to travel together through space and time in both a real and imaginary sense.”
Among the young people who helped come up with some of the Tube announcements was Imogen Brown, 17, from the Canalside Activity Centre. She said: “We got to experience and see new things in a Tube station that the public aren’t normally allowed to and we got to make announcements on the station’s tannoy.
“We also got to explore the London Transport Museum where we saw the history of London Underground over the past 150 years.
“It helped us build relationships with young people from different cultural backgrounds and break down stereotypes that may have been formed. It also was a confidence booster for the younger members as it helped them with talking in front of an audience and learning new skills in drawing.”
Louise Coysh, curator for Art on the Underground at London Underground, said: “I’m really impressed with the creativity these young people have shown while working with Harold Offeh on these fantastic Tube announcements and the striking escalator artworks.
“The future of the London Underground, along with the group’s love of science fiction, was the inspiration for this artwork and I’m sure our customers will enjoy this unusual project which should help to make their journeys more interesting.”