Platform for Art is delighted to present an exhibition of new works made especially for Piccadilly Circus station by British artist Ellie Harrison.
Gold Card Adventures raises questions around local and global travel in the 21st century by considering the meaning of distance and the possibility of seeing the world without even leaving the city. The works in the exhibition arise out of a year-long project about the artist’s journeys across London using tubes, trains and buses.
From September 2002 to September 2003, Harrison made a daily commute between her home in Ealing, West London, and New Cross in South East London, where she was studying for her Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College. She purchased a Gold Card (year travel pass) to make these journeys and was determined to get more value out her hours spent commuting. She kept a careful record of all of the journeys that she made, calculated the cumulative distance and began marking stages of the ongoing journey as if they were visits to target destinations all around the world.
The project soon developed into an imaginary challenge to visit as many places as possible. Harrison began to collect postcards from these places purely as a record of their distance from London.
The final work is a series of posters presenting mock postcards from an exciting range of target destinations, with a note of the distances reached en route. Twenty of these images will be displayed at the Underground station. The exhibition continues online, where an additional eight bonus images can be viewed along with the full log of every tube, train and bus journey: www.ellieharrison.com/goldcard
Through Gold Card Adventures Harrison exoticises the usually mundane notion of commuting by likening banal journeys to voyages that are potentially far more exciting. In the process, whilst making dull journeys across London seem more interesting, the work addresses complex issues around travel and what it really means to visit new destinations across the world.
The obsessive documentational approach of Gold Card Adventures follows the style of an earlier project by Harrison, Eat 22, for which she photographed everything she ate for one year. The resulting digital photographs were presented at London’s Science Museum in 2003 as part of the exhibition Treat Yourself. Harrison’s continued interest in the documentation of everyday routine is further developed in an exhibition that she is curating, Day-to-Day Data. This is a national touring exhibition launching at the Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham in July.