Art and the Alternative Space/Time of the London Underground

North, Laurence (2017) Art and the Alternative Space/Time of the London Underground. In: Association of Art Historians 2017 Annual Conference, The Object of Urban Visual Culture, 6th-8th April 2017, Loughborough University, UK.

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Abstract / Summary

The Object of Urban Visual Culture
AAH Conference 2017, Loughborough University

Art and the Alternative Space/Time of London Underground.

Laurence North (Falmouth University)

Lynch describes the subway as a “disconnected nether world”, a description with which those involved in London’s early 20th century underground would have probably agreed. Throughout his career with London’s early Underground, Frank Pick developed the integration of art and design to promote its progressive advantages and dispel any sense of dread threatened by the disorienting dimly lit passages and absence of social segregation.
Transport For London’s use of art and design has continued to develop and refine Pick’s legacy.
This paper argues that TFL’s use of art supplements the functional space with a cultural dimension, facilitating the passenger’s willingness to enter an alternative internalised and reflective space/time, in compensation for dislocation from their personal and established image of the city.
The paper goes on to consider, with reference to Laura Jacobus and Janetta Rebold Benton, Giotto’s Arena Chapel (1306) as a catalyst in understanding and developing the potential of art on the Underground. The blending of alternative states of being through the use of threshold images, references to the urban socio-political dynamic, and pictorial representations of space and time are argued as being common to both Giotto’s frescos and TFL’s use of art.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Arts > Architecture
Arts > Illustration
Arts > Landscape & Area Planning
Arts > Fine Art
Courses by Department: The Falmouth School of Art > Fine Art
Depositing User: Laurence North
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2018 12:05
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2018 12:05
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/2507

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