For her first public art commission in the UK, Brixton based artist Zineb Sedira has created an ambitious series of films and large-scale photographs displayed at King’s Cross St Pancras, Euston, Highbury & Islington and Brixton from October 2016.
The project, titled ‘Collecting Lines’, is a poetic reflection on networks, mapping and movement, exploring the Victoria line from unusual and often unseen perspectives.
“Through this series of works I wanted to connect both visually and metaphorically with the Underground. As I began my research I was drawn to rails, maps and tunnels, to the hidden cables and tube trains. These formed the basis of my idea, bringing together routes, maps and trains, representing them in unusual ways. A recurring theme in my work is the notion of journeying, and how personal recollection plays a part in that. ‘Collecting Lines’ is a response to the networks, systems and technology that operate as we make our journeys in the city.”
The film ‘Drawing and Collecting Maps’, displayed at King’s Cross St Pancras, features an interview with Phil Roe, a cartography enthusiast who retired from London Underground in June after 42 years of service. This piece sees Roe discuss his remarkable collection of historic tube maps, as well as his own intricately detailed hand-drawn maps. ‘The End of the Line’, also on display at King’s Cross St Pancras, is a large-scale film that follows Tube trains on their journey to the Victoria line depot, where the nightly ritual of cleaning and servicing takes place before the daily routes begin again.
A triptych video at Euston station, called ‘South to North – North to South’, follows the full distance of the line’s subterranean route, filmed from the view of the train driver. The work captures the movement, distance and velocity of the inner workings of the tunnel.
Brixton and Highbury & Islington stations will feature large-scale photographic works of the ceiling at Victoria station, which is covered with coloured cables and pipes. Sedira’s photographs of this mass of exposed cables is visually reminiscent of a Tube map and conceptually links her three films.