To mark the 10-year anniversary of Mark Wallinger’s city-wide artwork, the artist has created two new Labyrinth artworks for Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station on the Northern line.
In 2013, Mark Wallinger’s Labyrinth was launched – 270 unique works, one for each of the 270 stations on the London Underground network. Two new stations joined the London Underground network in September 2021 with the opening of the extension of the Northern line at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station. To mark the 10-year anniversary of Labyrinth, Wallinger has created two new unique Labyrinth artworks for these stations.
Inspired by the language of the symbols of London Underground, Wallinger chose the ancient symbol of the Labyrinth, with its single path, as the theme of the expansive work. Each London Underground station has its own unique Labyrinth design, emblazoned in black and white on a single 60cm² enamel panel, representing the journey through the network taken by millions of individuals each year. The works are installed in prominent positions so that they are visible to these passengers, and alongside the unique Labyrinth design, each has a number marked out of 270, the number of London Underground stations in 2013.
The original numbering referred to the tube challenge route – the optimum route to pass through all stations on the Underground network in the fastest possible time – as set when the work was fabricated. Mirroring the branching of the Northern line from Kennington to form the extension of the Northern line the two new designs are numerically linked to Kennington’s Labyrinth – numbered 110 / 270. The new stations are numbered 110a/270 and 110b/270.
Nine Elms (110a) is based on the embossed family of labyrinths, with nine concentric circles to hint at the station’s name. Battersea Power Station (110b) has a four-cornered structure within the circular outline, a nod to the location’s famous four-chimney landmark.
The new Labyrinths are located in each stations’ ticket hall, with the Battersea Power Station Labyrinth unveiled to London Underground enthusiasts today as a sheet of vinyl was peeled away by TfL staff to reveal the new design. The group then travelled to Nine Elms to unveil the station’s new artwork. The works are on permanent display.
Mark Wallinger said: ‘‘I am delighted and thrilled to have been given the opportunity to use the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the unveiling of the original Labyrinths to create two new ones.
The work was conceived as a celebration of the world’s greatest connective and welcoming public transport network. So I am immensely proud to be able to complete their presence across the network, and celebrate the underground’s reach through Nine Elms to the iconic Power Station, beloved by all Londoners’