Canary Wharf Screen juxtaposes nature and historical transport with Docklands station

By Mark Sheerin | 13 December 2012
Colour film still showing light effects on a dark background
Flicker, Chris Newby, 2001© BFI
Exhibition preview: Canary Wharf Screen, Season Four: BFI, until March 5 2013

While the architecture and activities of most businesses in Docklands face forward, passengers at Canary Wharf can enjoy a glimpse of the past for the next couple of months. The projection screen may be one of the capital’s largest, but the programme schedule between now and March is strictly archive.

Indeed, Season Four of Canary Wharf Screen takes inspiration from the BFI National Archive. With three parts relating to nature, the Tube itself, and the capital in relation to the South Coast. Viewers can expect startling juxtapositions from all three as flora, fauna and crashing waves invade the vast concrete foyer to a station on the striking Jubilee Line.

Part two of three is set to provide especial enjoyment for staff at Canary Wharf. This takes a look at life on the Tube from a range of viewpoints: with a 1928 drama about a murder on the Northern Line; a 1950s film about a gang of ‘fluffers’ who clear dust off the lines; and a psychedelic 60s guide to working the automated ticket barriers at Hammersmith.

BFI is the fourth partner to take the reins of this giant screen in one of the world’s most iconic, busy and corporate spaces in London. Set against a backdrop of banking and big business almost any art film would qualify as a juxtaposition. And indeed commuters, staff and art lovers have already had a chance to see programmes from Film and Video Umbrella, Animate Projects and LUX.

All shows are brought to you by Art on the Underground, the folk bringing contemporary art to one of the last places you would expect it. There is free admission (and you can catch a glimpse of some of the projects on offer below).
  • Admission free. Open 8am – 8pm daily. See website for detailed schedule.
Visit Mark Sheerin’s contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.

Black and white film still close up of a rose
Birth of a Flower, Percy E Smith, 1910© BFI
Colour film still of a gas sign on a grass verge
Robinson in Ruins, Patrick Keiller, 2010© BFI
Black and white film still of a stream train ploughing through snow
Snow, Geoffrey Jones, 1963© BFI
Colour film still of a country house seen through the branches of a tree
Oss Oss Wee Oss, Alan Lomax, 1953© BFI
Colour photo of people harvesting a field by hand
Requiem for a Village, David Gladwell, 1975© BFI
Colour film still of a large country house seen from the garden
H is for House, Peter Greenaway, 1976© BFI
Black and white film still of several split horse chestnuts
One Potato, Two Potato, Leslie Daiken, 1957© BFI
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