For over a century, motorised buses have appeared on London’s streets. They have come to be, perhaps, the most recognisable icon of London and an integral part of its landscape and culture.
Commissioned as part of Transport for London’s Year of the Bus celebrations, 100 is a poetic and graphic exploration of the bus. 100 comprises one hundred one-line poems, each offering a different perspective of life on the London bus – from the buses’ role in the First World War, to first generation Caribbean bus drivers in the 1940s, to first experiences, favourite routes, and contemporary experiences of travel. The artists viewed the bus is an example of public space made manifest through its function as a social meeting point, a series of fluid relationships which of which change from stop to stop.
At the outset, Bernard and Blake said:
“We imagine these relationships as an assembly diagram, each group interlocking with many others to create the shifting social textures of a bus journey. Usually these diagrams are used by engineers to show how objects physically fit together. We would like to apply this idea to the bus, its routes and people.”
Through 100 the artists have created a record of collective memories tracing over the city; mapping the networks and intersections between the city, the buses, drivers and passengers, both historically and today.
100 was developed through a research period that Bernard and Blake undertook in summer 2014 during which the attended a series of public open days organised London as part of Year of the Bus.
100 is on display in at North Greenwich Bus Station, Kingston Cromwell Road Bus Station and Walthamstow Bus Station from January 2015. An accompanying series of three posters can be seen on the London Underground network.
Explore the stories and inspiration behind 100 by clicking on the highlighted lines below.