NEW FRONTIERS: Selfridges is throwing its weight behind one of London’s most high-profile civic projects, sponsoring artwork that will adorn the Bond Street entrance to the new Elizabeth underground line, set to open later this year.
The large-scale piece by Darren Almond will be installed at the station’s western ticket hall, located on Davies Street in Mayfair, a short walk from Selfridges.
Turner Prize nominee Almond, whose diverse practice incorporates film, installation, sculpture and photography, will create a conceptual piece inspired by the U.K.’s transport heritage.
“As a child, I was liberated by the rail network, which enabled me to travel the length and breadth of the country,” said Almond. “It’s amazing how acute observations made at such a young age still inform and feed into my work today. I hope that my commission will address the space and passage of time.”
The commission is a partnership between Selfridges and City of London Corporation as part of the Crossrail Art Program, a charity initiative that is creating art displays in the stations of the underground line. The Elizabeth line will carry more than 200 million passengers per year and will link key employment, leisure and business districts in London.
Anne Pitcher, Selfridges’ managing director, said: “The artwork will be enjoyed by everyone and create a lasting legacy in our city for years to come. We have always championed the compelling, memorable and unconventional, all qualities that are echoed in Darren’s vision.”
Members of the public will get an advance look at Almond’s work — as well as those by other artists contributing to the Crossrail Art Programme — during a new exhibition called “Art Capital: Art for the Elizabeth Line,” at the Whitechapel Gallery in London’s East End between March 13 and May 6.