Dryden Goodwin

60 portraits of Jubilee line staff
5 February 2010 – 20 June 2012

Part of the following series:

Southwark Billboard Commission

Jubilee Line Series

Unlock the drawings by watching the films

Linear, by Dryden Goodwin, is a collection of portraits of Jubilee line staff created for Art on the Underground.

Also watch subtitled films

The 60 pencil drawings of staff at work, or at moments of pause in their day, are each accompanied by a film of the portrait being made. The films include fragments of the conversation between artist and ‘sitter’, together forming an intimate and diverse social portrait of this community of workers. Goodwin’s work extends the limits of what portraiture can do. He often combines media, such as drawing, sound, photography and video. His multi-layered portraits present a heightened sense of individuals or collective communities, and of how we interact with one another.

Central to Linear is an acknowledgement of the inability of any portrait to describe a subject adequately. Rather than attempting to depict the hundreds of staff who work on the Jubilee line, Linear evokes a sense of their personal contributions through the detailed portrayal of just 60 individuals. A similar process of condensing occurs in each of the separate film portraits, where the real-time development of the drawings is speeded up and the conversations edited into intense (but inevitably incomplete) representations of each person. The investment of time becomes an underlying theme. This is emphasised in the captions accompanying the drawings, where the time taken to make each portrait is juxtaposed with the number of years the member of staff has worked on the Jubilee line. The portraits were drawn in a variety of locations, including train operator’s cabs, signalling towers, management offices, station control rooms, ticket offices and gates. Through the intertwining of these individuals’ varied roles, with the abundance of their personal revelations and experiences, different themes emerge encompassing life, death, love, personal obsessions and aspirations. In this way, Linear evokes both a physical and emotional mapping of the Jubilee line. For Goodwin, ‘Linear exists as a repository of insights and histories, anecdotal and factual, revealed through the interplay of the drawn line and conversation, that is unique to the Jubilee line at this particular point in time.’ Linear will be presented across the London Underground network on poster sites, digital screens and leaflets, with exhibition sites at Southwark, London Bridge and Stanmore Underground stations. All 60 films can be viewed online.

Link to download free Project Notes to accompany the Jubilee Line Series: One Thing Leads to Another, Everything is Connected, 2010-12

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Visiting Information

Artworks for this project are not currently available to visit. The stations where they were / will be installed are listed below.


  • I was very sorry to see these images taken down and replaced by Olympic mediocrity over recent weeks. I cycled past Dryden’s drawings at Blackfriars most mornings and they made a great start to the day. Marcus

  • Superb…huge talent. Saw these this morning in Stanmore and they made me smile! Monique Lester

  • This idea is brilliant and the schetches are very good. The next project for dryden should be in the Baker street tube station with characters expsoed at Madame Tussauds:) Jinxy

  • think the whole idea brilliant even though my wife is one of the subjects. I love all the art on the tube as well as the poetry and i think in many ways it reminds all travellers that LU staff are human too. Have also seen the film made doing the sketch of my wife so if these films are available as well for viewing, the whole exhibition will be quite original and special. Well done on a great, brilliant and fantastic idea. I love it. Anon

  • An incredible and original record of every day life on the tube. David Dipré

  • This is fantastic! Simply beautiful! I saw one of the posters yesterday on the Platform at London Bridge and I copied the web link and came to check this out! It is fantastic! Maybe because I am a sketcher on the train and tube myself. But this is phenomenal! Adebanji Alade

  • A fantastic achievement by Dryden and it must have taken an age to edit all the video footage. Thank you for your dedication and special thanks to Louise for her organisational skills. This project has brought LUL uniforms and suits to life and shown the human side of staff. Great fun! Anon

  • These are beautiful, so detailed and fascinating, and actually make the wait for a train bearable. The mood is perfect for the Tube; I’m usually alone among the crowd, and these faces capture that feeling and reflect it back to me in an oddly comforting way. Mishka

  • I think these portraits are wonderful with so much character and gravitas. It is also a good reminder to us of the people behind the uniforms. Naomi

  • Fantastic. Obviously a fantastic talent, but a wonderful collection with so many enlightening levels. Inspiring. Claire Swindale

  • I’m a big fan of Dryden’s work ever since his solo show at The Photographers’ Gallery. Well done for a perfect marriage of artist with subjects – I hope staff can see themselves in the work! jm

  • Wonderful in a word. What a delight to see such talent offered for all on the Underground. What an artist!!!!! what a city we have. Thank you. Lisa

  • I love watching the films of the drawings, they are amazing, and I look out for the portraits every time I’m on the tube. Its a privilege to be surrounded by such quality art when traveling on the Underground. Rex Beevers

  • They look fabulous! Completed with finesse. Anon

  • Absolutely brillinat. I really enjoy Dryden Goodwin’s work. The conversations with the subjects are also very enjoyable. Ramin Tork

  • inspiring and beautiful work. made me stop in my tracks when i first saw a poster. Anon

  • really beautiful. The more art on the underground, the better. Anon

  • I live very close to Southwark tube station and see the exhibition images on the outside of the station often. I would tell myself that i would look at the website but when i get home I never did… until today. loving it so far,,, as i will watch some more clips at a later date. such a simple idea but beautfully and touchingly delivered it makes me smile now when i pass the station as i look forward to my next instalment on my jubilee line opera and its characters Clarence

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