‘Did you notice the mosaics at Tottenham Court Road tube station?’ asked Aril from Gnat Bottomed Towers when she met me at the British Museum the other day. I think that I would have had to be blind to have miss them. On second thoughts most people seemed to be rushing passed them without so much as a glance.
You see what I mean! Anyway I thought that I’d find out a bit more about this amazing work in a space at the intersection of two lines. Helpful the artist had signed the piece. I’ve found out afterwards that there’s more on the platforms. Next time I’m at the station I’ll have to lurk around after tube trains have just departed to see if I can get shots of those too.
Edouardo Paolozzi was a pioneer of pop art. You can read about him on his Wiki page if you’re interested. Not only was he a pretty impressive mosaic artist but a sculptor, screen printer and collage maker.
I was truly shocked to find out that these mosaics haven’t always been treasured. They were allowed to get into a bit of a state. Some scattered around other parts of the station were unsalvageable. But in the middle of the last decade, after a petition from the public, work began to restore some of them.
Here’s another link to the story of the renovation work at Tottenham Court Road Tube Station. In it lies the most wonderful excuse for a jolly ever. ‘We need to work in Italy so we can make sure that we are near the tile factory to get a good colour match.’ Genius!