Ever wondered what those maze posters dotted around London tube stations are all about? They’re actually artworks designed by artist Mark Wallinger, who was asked to create the series of pictures for London Underground’s 150th anniversary in 2013. Since then, seeing the little labyrinths around has become a daily part of London life.
Now, two of London’s newest stations have also been given the Wallinger treatment, as the artist has revealed two brand-new artworks.
Mark Wallinger ‘Labyrinths’ have been unveiled at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms, the latest stations to open along the Northern Line. Marking ten years from his first art installations and 160 years of the tube, Wallinger went to the stations to unveil the artworks himself on October 18, 2023.
Every Labyrinth is embossed in enamel so it can be touched as well as seen. You won’t see the same one at any two stations, as each one is unique to its location. Nine Elms’ new artwork depicts nine concentric circles, referencing the station’s name, while the Battersea Power Station Labyrinth features a four-cornered shape, an ode to the four chimneys of the station itself.
‘People often go out with their families to find each one of them. Almost like a treasure hunt,’ Eleanor Pinfield, TfL’s Head of Art on the Underground told Londonist.
‘I think Labyrinth has had one of the most interesting responses to public art that I can think of internationally. It’s a very interesting project because they are relatively small works, but they are dispersed amongst the whole of London, which means everyone travelling can feel a sense that the one at their station is their home one.’
She added: ‘Every Labyrinth is somewhere where you can actually go up and touch it, as well. It will never be somewhere out of reach or behind a barrier.’
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