Artist Gareth J Wood, aka Fuller, unveiled this striking black-and-white map-based artwork over London, yesterday. The work was started way back in 2005, and after a four-year pause, Fuller came back and completed the piece, which is well over a metre wide. The work, which can be seen alongside similar works for Bristol and Purbeck, is hanging at the Clock Tower, which is apartment 5.01 of St Pancras Chambers Apartments – this is the apartment famously on AirB&B and includes the huge clock tower overlooking St Pancras station. The views of King’s Cross (see below), and the intriguing metal steps zigzagging from the room displaying the art, into the ceiling, create a setting that is another great reason to visit. Fuller has picked towers to unveil his work before, including the Shot Tower in Bristol.
With works like this, it’s the detail – and the implied commentary, that make it so interesting, and invite a long, careful look. I particularly liked the dog sitting in the middle of the Isle of Dogs, and Paddington Bear standing by the eponymous station – or is it a panda representing the zoo? Lines of cycles stretch along certain roads, suggesting a cycle superhighway future, constrasting with a line of traffic camera symbols stretching along the South Circular. A quadcopter drone sneaks by Canary Wharf, along with pigeons, possibly escaped from a giant birdcage representing 1 Canada Square. London’s “30 mile high street” cuts a line right across the canvas. Fans of the Docklands Light Railway will be familiar of the fairly-exciting section of track just north of Canary Wharf, and here it is shown as we know it to be – an exciting rollercoaster of exciting twists and turns. The Olympics is represented symbolically over a temple, lit by a flame. The Serpentine in Hyde Park turns into – a serpent.
The entire work is drawn in black pen, which provides a crispness of detail to the print and allows these multiple levels of detail to blend together well to create a graphic that is 50% artwork, 50% map.
If you want to see the piece yourself, it’s tricky – you only have today until 10pm (contact the artist via here for a ticket, if there are any left). You can also see it as part of Open House Weekend this weekend, and also, in a different setting, at an exhibition/show “Flux” at the Royal College of Art in December.