Gloucester Road Tube station art inspired by Big Ben

08:55 14 June 2012

The archway art paints a picture of a Big Ben countdown and also a train pulling into the London Underground station. Commissioned by Art on the Underground for Gloucester Rd Underground station. Photograph Andy Keate

The archway art paints a picture of a Big Ben countdown and also a train pulling into the London Underground station. Commissioned by Art on the Underground for Gloucester Rd Underground station. Photograph Andy Keate


Dramatic and colourful artwork inspired by Big Ben has been unveiled at Gloucester Road Tube station in west London.

The installation by artist Sarah Morris has been created for the 18 arches that span the length of the disused platform at the station, and is the latest commission for the Art on the Underground programme.

As Tube trains enter the station passengers see a spectrum of colour as they travel past the arches.

The aim is to recall the countdown to a spectacle or event, and the artwork “also parallels the way in which a train pulls in and out of the station”.

The work derives from a painting of Big Ben that Morris created as one of the 12 posters for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The artist said: “This is the first series of images where I’ve treated London as a subject, as a starting point.

“Stripped bare, Big Ben [2012] is a streamlined image of time, and ironically anti-authoritarian - no-one can control the politics of the future. I wanted to create a spectrum of colour that parallels the movement in and out of Gloucester Road station, an image of arrival and departure.”

Louise Coysh, curator for Art on the Underground, said, “We’re delighted to commission Sarah Morris as the 12th internationally acclaimed artist at our flagship site.

“Her work resonates very strongly not only with London’s architecture and transport infrastructure, but most especially with the energy and excitement in the capital during 2012.”

The Gloucester Road commissions provide invited artists with the opportunity to create ambitious, temporary new work in response to Art on the Underground’s flagship site and its context, which has more than one million visitors each month.

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