Art On The Underground Launches Projects At Stratford Tube

By 24 Hour Museum staff | 17 July 2008
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Origami, from The Stratford Grapevine, by Lucy Harrison

Two major public art commissions premièred at Stratford Tube Station on July 17 2008. The new works, by Lucy Harrison and Alan Kane, will be the first in an ongoing series of contemporary projects from Art on the Underground, which has commissioned projects for the station in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Both Lucy and Alan made local people the focus of their work.

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The Stratford Hoard, by Alan Kane. Installation at Stratford tube. Photo: Daisy Hutchinson

“From the beginning, Art on the Underground was certain that the artwork produced for this station should involve the individuals and groups who live in, work in and visit Stratford,” said Tamsin Dillon, Head of Art on the Underground.

“Central to the lives of so many people in the area, the station should embody something about the community that uses it. In the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Stratford’s Art on the Underground projects will have the Olympic agendas of inclusion and celebration at their heart.”

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The Stratford Grapevine, by Lucy Harrison

Lucy Harrison has been working closely with local communities, businesses and individuals to explore and reveal the social networks that operate in and around the station and the nearby town. Her discoveries have been compiled in the form of a free newspaper with a difference.

Her publication, The Stratford Grapevine, depicts the minutia of daily life in the area as it experiences the first waves of epic change as the Games approach. Issue one of the paper, available from the station and online from July 17, contains exclusive interviews with the Newham Striders, an Origami competition and a feature on Midfield FC.

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Looking at The Stratford Hoard, by Alan Kane. Photo: Daisy Hutchinson

Alan Kane presents The Stratford Hoard. He has put together a series of exhibitions revealing the private collections of people who live or work nearby or have a connection to the station. Three shows presented in museum-quality cases and large-scale visuals will present personal hoards such as Elizabeth Parker’s 1000 sugar cubes, Kacey Young’s decorative souvenir teaspoons, and Tyler Harrington’s 1980s printed milk bottles.

The commissions are the beginning of a new era of artworks for the station and highlight a new phase for the general Art on the Underground programme. Reflecting the station as a hub at the centre of a changing landscape, the artworks for Stratford will be social in nature. Many will involve the local community directly in their development and production, each producing a different portrait of Stratford during this period of development and change.

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Detail view, The Stratford Hoard, Alan Kane. Photo: Daisy Hutchinson

The projects have been supported with funds from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Art on the Underground is London Underground’s art programme, producing high calibre artworks in unexpected places on the network, enhancing the millions of journeys made every day. It aims to promote a greater understanding of the tube as a cultural and social environment through the creative commissioning of artworks.

To achieve this aim, Art on the Underground commissions artworks across the entire London Underground network and focuses on different aspects of artistic production, historical or architectural features of the stations, trains and rail networks, as well as looking at the unique social make up of the world’s oldest underground system.

For more information about Art on the Underground, please visit

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