Art on the Underground has commissioned ten artists for multiple sites across the Tube network to show London is united and open to the world following the EU referendum. The #LondonIsOpen campaign aims to send a message across London of internationalism, diversity and commonality, led by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
The ten artists are Tania Bruguera, Sol Calero, Alexandre da Cunha, Jeremy Deller, Hew Locke and Indra Khanna, David Shrigley, Mark Titchner, Gillian Wearing and Bedwyr Williams. With a broad range of international artists, each is bringing a unique response to the core theme of openness and diversity.
As the campaign continues, Hew Locke and Indra Khanna are displayed across Transport for London’s bus shelters joining David Shrigley ‘London: Everyone Welcome’, Gillian Wearing ‘Work Towards World Peace’, Mark Titchner ‘No Them Only Us’ and Tania Bruguera ‘Dignity has no Nationality’ which are live on London Underground.
The Mayor Sadiq Khan joined David Shrigley and Deputy Mayor for Culture Justine Simons at Southwark Tube Station to launch the series of commissions, distributing limited edition Oyster card wallets bearing Shrigley’s design to commuters.
The work of four more artists will appear across London Underground into the Autumn. Pieces by Sol Calero, Alexandre da Cunha, Jeremy Deller and Bedwyr Williams will be displayed in stations from September.
David Shrigley, ‘London: Everyone Welcome’, 2016
Artwork: poster; oyster wallet
Displayed: Multiple poster sites across London Underground
Born in 1968 in Macclesfield; lives in Brighton. Shrigley is best known for his distinctive drawing style and works that make satirical comments on everyday situations and human interactions. In September 2016, David Shrigley’s ‘Really Good’ will be unveiled in Trafalgar Square, for the Fourth Plinth Commission.
Gillian Wearing, OBE ‘Work Towards World Peace’, 1992-1993
Artwork: digital photograph
Displayed: Digital escalator panels
Born 1963 Birmingham; lives London. Wearing is a photographer and video artist. Wearing often uses photography and video to record the confessions of ordinary people. This photograph is from a larger series of images, Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say, where the artist asked passers-by to write down what was on their mind. For London Is Open, Wearing has chosen an image with a couple holding a sign, ‘Work Towards World Peace’.
Tania Bruguera, ‘The Francis Effect’, 2014
Artwork: Digital poster
Displayed: LCD digital screens
Born 1968 in Havana, Cuba; lives and works between New York and Havana. Bruguera is an installation and performance artist. For #LondonIsOpen the artist has created an image of Pangea (the single ‘supercontinent’ that spilt 300 million years ago) where the world is shown joined together, with the statement ‘Dignity has no Nationality’ asking us to think again on immigration and citizenship.
Artist’s Note: An artistic response to a recent shift in world culture. ‘Dignity has no nationality’ aims to change public perception on immigration and redress the assault to the citizenship rights of undocumented migrants throughout the globe.
Feel free to sign the petition at http://www.dignityhasnonationality.net/
Mark Titchner ‘No Them Only Us’, 2016
Artwork: Large-scale animated poster
Displayed: Cross-track video projectors
Born 1973 Luton; lives London. Titchner is famous for his slogan artworks which explore systems of belief in the style of corporate messages. For London Is Open, Titchner has used the phrase No Them Only Us to make an animated, rippling poster displayed along platforms on cross-track projectors.
Hew Locke & Indra Khanna, ‘Mappa Mundi’, 2016
Artwork: digital poster
Displayed: Bus Shelters
Hew Locke b. 1959, Guyanese-British, lives and works in London, UK and Indra Khanna, lives and works in London, UK.
‘Mappa Mundi’ is a poster of real street names across London named after countries from around the world. London has always been linked to the wider world through the movement of goods, people and ideas; these connections with other nationalities are recorded throughout the city in its street names. Roman Road follows a route walked by the city’s Roman creators; Greek Street (1677) was named after a nearby Greek church; Poland Street (1680s) after an inn named in honour of “The King of Poland”. The central street name in red typeface directly lifts the title of the campaign ‘London Is Open’ to celebrate our international diverse city and that it continue to be so.
The title derives from the Medieval Latin words mappa (cloth or chart) and mundi (of the world).