Anna Barriball’s minimal typographic artwork About 60 miles of beautiful views was commissioned in 2008 and is still widely visible on the network today in poster and advertising sites thorughout the centre of the city.
Barriball collected evocative phrases taken from the back of found photographs and reworked them as printed typographic posters displayed in advertising spaces across the network. Customers travelling on the Underground encounter unexpected phrases like ”About 60 miles of beautiful views.’ or ‘On way to birthday party.’ or ‘Looking back the way we had come.’. These cryptic texts are loaded with personal memory, yet connect with individual reasons for travel and the millions of private thoughts customers carry with them on their journeys.
The phrases are distinctly personal and strangely visual, creating small windows into imagined vistas or glimpses into unidentified personal worlds, open to interpretation in their new context.
Anna Barriball’s work often steps between the parallel languages of drawing and sculpture. Her practice produces objects that combine a minimalistic rigour and the attempt to make sense of the world of objects by empirical study. In the context of the Tube this approach will inject moments of quiet contemplation into a busy, working landscape.
Tamsin Dillon, Head of Art on the Underground, says: “Anna’s project is exciting because it offers customers the chance to encounter artworks across the entire Tube network. We hope that these encounters result in pleasantly unexpected asides to daily journeys”.