To celebrate the launch of Transport for London’s new Night Tube service Art on the Underground invited London-based artist Samara Scott to make an artwork for the cover of the corresponding pocket map. This new commission coincided with Art on the Underground’s long standing series on the cover of the day map since 2004, its huge print run placing contemporary art in the hands of millions across the city.
For the cover Scott made a collage reminiscent of the night. Comprised of a plethora of edible and cosmetic products including batteries, an open lipstick tube, seeds, and electrical cables the objects form a sublime image that hints at the cosmic. Created directly from the surface of a domestic scanner, Scott assembled the objects in an intuitive investigative manner. A glowing bike light shines onto a suspended Ikea bag to create a sweeping purple background, cables wind across the scanner’s surface and felt tip pens balance precariously amidst the scanner’s gathered dust and detritus to invoke a sense of depth, movement and travel that hints at the Underground at night.
Scott’s practice traverses the line between desire and disgust. Attracted to materials with alchemic properties that evolve over the course of an exhibition, growing, glistening, shrivelling then decomposing, her materials have included toothpaste, fabric softener, nail varnish, toilet paper, noodles and beach sand. Exploring society’s cycle of consumption and waste, together the materials create rich seductive surfaces that lure the viewer into the artist’s world of decay and excess.
A limited edition print to celebrate the commission is available to purchase here.