Stories behind the collection
Platform for Art
Platform for Art delivers high calibre contemporary art projects for the unique context of London Underground. Working with both established and emerging artists, it aims to contribute to London’s culture and enhance the journey of millions of passengers, by bringing great art onto the transport network.
The programme was initiated in 2000 but is embedded within the long established cultural heritage of London Underground. The first exhibitions presented existing artworks on the disused platform at Gloucester Road station. New strategies are planned for a wider range of sites, with artists commissioned for each location. Gloucester Road is currently used to present large scale temporary installations commissioned annually. On a smaller scale, the ongoing series of artworks for the pocket Tube map reaches an audience of 15 million every year.
A recent initiative, entitled Thin Cities is a series of artworks on sites along the Piccadilly line. It includes an artwork made to cover an entire Tube train. Another strand of the programme generates engagement and participation by working with artists, communities and staff groups to make their own work for presentation in stations. Posters promote all projects and are part of the programme’s growing archive.
In addition to the temporary projects, Platform for Art is developing commissions for permanent art to ensure an enduring legacy. The programme enhances the experience of Tube travel whilst increasing public understanding and appreciation of art and artistic practice. More information is on the website: www.tfl.gov.uk/pfa