Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Art on the Underground - Labyrinths

In 2013, as part of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, Art on the Underground commissioned artist Mark Wallinger. He produced "Labyrinth" a series of 270 enamel plaques each showing a unique round labyrinth, one for each London Underground station, where they are now displayed. The labyrinths are not mazes, there are no paths that branch off, there is a single path from the red cross on the outside to the centre and back again.

Each of the labyrinths are hand-numbered "#/270", as a limited edition artwork would be. To determine the numbering order, Art on the Underground contacted Andi James and Steve Wilson, current holders of the record for the fastest time to visit all 270 stations, who were also the record holders then with a slower time. Andi and Steve provided them with the route they had used in 2009 for their previous record (forming a three-man team with Martin Hazel). Tube challengers are secretive about the details of their routes, so they must have been willing to divulge this one because it was out-of-date. So the order that the stations were visited for the 2009 record is the order that the labyrinths are numbered from Chesham at #1 to Heathrow Terminal 5 at #270.

I've been thinking of starting a long-term challenge... Seeing all the "Labyrinth" artworks in order.

This won't be efficient time-wise since, at every station, I will have to get off a train, find the labyrinth then get on another train. So I'm thinking of doing it over several days, not consecutively, whenever I happen to be in London. At the end of each day, I'll "stop the clock" on my cumulative time at a particular labyrinth then start again at the same one next time. If and when I ever start this challenge, this is where I'll be blogging about it.

For the record, in my next post, I'll list the route.

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