In contrast to the colourless smog which has lain over London, Scottish artist David Batchelor’s sculpture, Chromolocomotion, brings a splash of colour to the Grand Terrace at St Pancras International. Unveiled this week, the 20 by 10 metre work consists of 44 L-shaped pieces of coloured perspex suspended from the Grade I-listed roof of the Barlow Shed. It replaces Lucy and Jorge Orta’s Cloud: Meteoros and is the second installation commissioned by St Pancras International’s owners HS1 Ltd as part of the Terrace Wires initiative. The work will remain in place until late September. For more on the initiative, see www.terracewires.co.uk. PICTURE: HS1 Ltd.
Lucy and Jorge Orta’s sculpture Cloud: Meteoros is the first sculpture to be unveiled for the ‘Terrace Wires’ project at St Pancras International. The sculpture, which hangs on wires from the station’s roof, features two clouds hovering over the station floor on which figures can be seen looking down. Says artist Lucy Orta: “Our sculpture is symbol the space in between: that of the daily routines of the millions of passengers and visitors to the station and the freedom of our imagination, daydreams – looking up to the sky.” The sculpture will remain in place for the rest of the year. For more on art at St Pancras, see http://stpancras.com/art/ and www.terracewires.com. PICTURE: Sam Lane/HS1 Ltd.
The latest in the series in which we ask you to identify where in London this picture was taken and what it’s of. If you think you can identify this picture, leave a comment below. We’ll reveal the answer early next week. Good luck!
Congrats to Parktown – this image of people on the Tube is part of a 12 metre long frieze which runs around the base of Paul Day‘s monumental statue, The Meeting Place, which stands on the upper concourse in St Pancras International Station.
The five ton statue above – which itself stands under the station’s clock – features a 30 foot (nine metre) tall bronze couple embracing and was installed before the station’s reopening in 2007.
The frieze – the images of which depict scenes from the history of the Tube and railways – was added in 2008. There was initially some controversy over some of the images in the frieze panels and one which depicted a grim reaper driving a train was replaced.
The world’s tallest Lego Christmas Tree, this decorative addition to St Pancras International’s main concourse contains 600,000 pieces and took two months to build. The 12.2 metre high tree has 172 branches and is decorated with 1,000 baubles – and, yes, they’re made of Lego too! Having had its lights switched on last week, it will remain in the concourse until 3rd January.
• The proposed cable car crossing of the Thames will be sponsored by airline Emirates in a 10-year, £36 million deal announced last Friday. To be known as the ‘Emirates Air Line’, the cable car will link the DLR station Royal Victoria with the Jubilee Line station North Greenwich and will involve the creation of two new cable car stations bearing the sponsor’s name – Emirates Greenwich Peninsula on the south bank and Emirates Royal Docks on the north. It is the first time a corporate brand will appear on the Tube map. Transport for London has said the new service could be operational by summer 2012 (although whether it will be ready for the Olympics remains uncertain). It will feature 34 cable car gondolas and ferry as many as 2,500 passengers across the river every hour with an expected two million passengers to use the service each year. The journey is expected to take five minutes and will see the gondolas travelling at a height of 160 feet above the river. The sponsorship deal was announced by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, along with Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, and Mike Brown, managing director of London Underground and Rail.
• The Duke of Gloucester unveiled a new statue, called Plumber’s Apprentice, at Cannon Street Station last week to mark the 400th anniversary of the granting of a Royal Charter to London’s Worshipful Company of Plumbers. Sculpted by Martin Jennings (he also created the statue of British poet Sir John Betjeman that now stands in St Pancras Station), the seven foot tall bronze statue is said to underline the livery company’s ongoing commitment to train young plumbers. The company, which was formed in 1365, received its charter from King James I in 1611. From 1690, following the destruction of the company’s previous hall in the Great Fire of London, it was based in a building on the site of the railway station. In 1863, it was forced to again move when the hall was compulsorily purchased to make way for the railway. Also present at the unveiling were the Lord Mayor of London, Michael Bear, and the Lady Mayoress, herself a sculptress and liverymen of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers. For more, see www.plumberscompany.org.uk.
• On now: Shaped by War: Photographs by Don McCullin. The Imperial War Museum is hosting the largest ever exhibition of the life and works of acclaimed photographer Don McCullin. The display features some 250 photographs including rarely seen before portraits of anonymous victims of war, contact sheets, objects, magazine and personal memorabilia. Conflicts covered include those of the Cold War, in places like Vietnam and Cambodia, Bangladesh and the Middle East – the latter include images from the Gulf War and the 20o3 invasion of Iraq. There is also a newly commissioned video in which McCullin talks about the exhibition. Runs until 15th April, 2012. An admission charge applies. For more, see www.iwm.org.uk.
• The London Transport Museum Depot’s ‘Open Weekend’ kicks off on Saturday. The weekend of events at the depot in Gunnersbury Lane, Acton, will feature model railways, the chance to ride the Acton Miniature Railway – on either a replica 1938 tube train or a Metropolitan steam train – as well as heritage buses, and talks by author and broadcaster Christian Wolmar on his books Engines of War and Subterranean Railway. There will also be events specifically for children. The depot is home to more than 370,000 objects including road and rail vehicles, posters and artwork, and ticket machines. Events run from 11am to 5pm (last entry 4pm). There is an admission charge. For more information, see www.ltmuseum.co.uk/whats-on/museum-depot/events
• Brixton Windmill, the only surviving windmill in inner London, will be open to the public from 2nd May after a major restoration project. The Grade II* listed building, located in Windmill Gardens in Brixton, south-east London, was built in 1816 and was owned by the Ashby family until it ceased production in 1934. It was purchased by the London County Council in 1957 but had since fallen into disrepair. The restoration project, which kicked off in October last year, was partly funded by a £397,700 Heritage Lottery Fund grant obtained by Friends of Windmill Gardens and Lambeth Council. It is envisaged that interpretation materials will be installed and a programme of educational activities run at the site – including growing wheat and mixing flour – after the completion of the restoration work. See www.brixtonwindmill.org for more information.
• Giant Olympic Rings were unveiled at St Pancras International earlier this month. The 20 metre wide and nine metre high rings, which have been suspended from the station’s roof, weigh 2,300 kilograms and are made from aluminium. Built in Hertfordshire over four weeks, they took seven nights to install. They’re the first in a series of Olympic Rings that will appear around the city in the lead-up to the 2012 Games. The Olympics was last held in London in 1948.