New art unveiled at Farringdon ahead of Elizabeth Line

Simon Periton meets students from St Mary Magdalene Academy at Farringdon station

Simon Periton meets students from St Mary Magdalene Academy at Farringdon station - Credit: TFL

New artwork has been unveiled at Farringdon ahead of the opening of the Crossrail part of the station. 

The finishing touches are being applied to make one of the oldest Underground stations ready to welcome the new trains for the Elizabeth Line by the end of June. 

Sixth formers from Highbury school St Mary Magdalene Academy were last week given a sneak peek at the development. They met artist Simon Periton who explained the two works he has curated for Farringdon.

Simon said: “It’s great that a group of local students are among the first people to get to see the new artworks at Farringdon station. 

“Although both designs are based on previous artworks of mine, the feel of each site is very different.”

The first of his works Avalanche is inspired by the nearby Hatton Garden diamond district and has been funded by the City of London Corporation. It features a sequence of enormous gems which appear to tumble down and along the walls. 

A closeup of the Avalanche artwork

A closeup of the Avalanche artwork - Credit: TFL

The second artwork, installed at the Barbican entrance to the station, is titled Spectre and has been funded by Goldman Sachs. This piece is an elaborate curved pattern printed on the exterior glazing that runs around three sides of the building, emulating etched glass. 

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Simon added: “Spectre is visually more organic. Not only does the intricate pattern reflect the elaborate Victorian metalwork of Smithfield Market, it also references fragmented elements of the fauna and flora sold in the market. 

“If Spectre represents the ‘animal or vegetable’, then Avalanche represents the ‘mineral’. Here a series of giant gems cascade down and spin around the concourse, animating the space and echoing the movement of commuters."

Simon Periton speaks to students

Simon Periton speaks to students - Credit: TFL

Eleanor Pinfield, Head of Art on the Underground, said: “As we look ahead to the Elizabeth line opening, it is exciting to show students the important role that art plays in these new stations. 

“With major art installations across the central stations, the opening of the Elizabeth Line will see a huge expansion in artworks that can be enjoyed by the public as they travel about the city. 

“Simon Periton’s Spectre and Avalanche are closely linked to Farringdon station’s local history, demonstrating the power of site specific commissioning.”