From December 2016, Art on the Underground, will launch the latest pocket Tube map, one of the most widely viewed art commissions in the world. For this 25th edition, Art on the Underground have commissioned London-based, British artist Gillian Carnegie to create a new artwork that will be printed on 12 million copies.
The map will feature a pastel work on paper by Carnegie, entitled ‘Metropolitan Diamonds’, which explores the legacy of London Underground’s fabric design. Carnegie’s drawing references the graphic pattern of the Metropolitan line’s moquette fabric (used to cover seats) as well as its title. The muted palette of the work has been directly influenced by a Metropolitan Railway timetable cover dating from 1916, which the artist found in the London Transport Museum’s archive.
Carnegie is an accomplished painter whose practice is seemingly determined by a traditional approach and encompasses academic figurative painting, still life, landscape and portraiture. The essence of her work is an exploration of the materiality of paint and representation itself. She often isolates her subjects from their original context by closing down any surrounding narrative content. For Metropolitan Diamonds the artist distilled the experience of travelling into a series of geometric shapes, their palette and design explicitly referencing London Underground’s past whilst the pattern’s oscillating effect evokes a sense of movement.