Insight

Adding colour to Whitechapel Crossrail station

15 December 2017 | By James Kenny

Chantal Joffe will provide artworks for Whitechapel station

The new Crossrail platform at Whitechapel station will be decorated with a series of colourful collages, inspired by the rich diversity of the local community, by artist Chantal Joffe.

The project involves the creation of a series of small-scale paper collages, digitally enlarged to 2m and transferred to laser-cut aluminium, which are then fixed to the arching platform walls 30 metres below street level.

Joffe is the latest artist to be selected by the Crossrail Art Foundation to create a work for the Crossrail Art Programme – a unique line-wide display of large-scale art at many of the Elizabeth line stations.

The announcement comes just a few weeks after a huge artwork was unveiled at the Crossrail station in Paddington.

The artworks will be attached to the arching station walls

Whitechapel Gallery has also announced a new exhibition called Art Capital: Art for the Elizabeth line that will, for the first time, bring together unseen material from all the artists contributing to the Crossrail Art Programme.

Maquettes, sketches and prototypes will be displayed in the east London gallery’s project and archive spaces between 13 March and 6 May next year. 

Joffe said: “All my thinking around this project for the station at Whitechapel has been about the journeys we make and how we make them our own – through the people we see on a daily basis, or the private maps of significant places we carry in our heads.

“Part of the challenge has been to develop small, intimate collages into large-scale works, and to retain a sense of the personal in a public space. I hope I have achieved this by bringing a sense of intimacy, as well as colour and warmth, into the station at Whitechapel.”

Sir Terry Morgan, Crossrail chairman, said: “When the Elizabeth line opens in December 2018, almost 100,000 journeys will start or end at the new station in Whitechapel. It’s wonderful that this vibrant and diverse community, which the railway was built to serve, will be reflected in Chantal’s beautiful and striking artwork.

“It’s a fabulous addition to the Crossrail Art Programme, which is now clearly the largest and most impressive addition to the catalogue of London’s public artwork in a generation.”

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