Artist Simon Periton takes on Farringdon canvas


THE Corporation has partnered with Goldman Sachs to co-fund the largest commission ever undertaken by renowned British artist Simon Periton – but it is his canvass that has the City talking.

Periton, whose work ranges from subtly inserting messages into genteel cut-outs to large scale public commissions, has been charged with giving the new Crossrail station at Farringdon a look worthy of the Elizabeth Line.

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vision: artist Simon Periton

The artwork at the station’s eastern entrance will see the exterior glazing on three sides of the building feature an intricate pattern that reflects the elaborate Victorian metalwork of the historic Smithfield Market directly opposite.

During the day, it will allow passengers to see inside to the coffered ceiling that echoes the Brutalist architecture of the nearby Barbican, while changing shadows will be cast across the interior space. In the evening, the station lights will illuminate the design from inside, offering a dramatic new perspective to those on the nearby streets.

“I know the area well as I used to live nearby and still use the station often as a way into London,” explained the artist.

“It’s an incredibly interesting place with a rich and layered history that’s continuing to evolve.

Part of the challenge has been to develop an artwork with Crossrail that reflects some of that history but also appears to change depending on where and when you are in the station, so people will enjoy it whether they are seeing it for the first time or during many visits.”

At the station’s western entrance on Farringdon Road, Periton is also working with engineers to develop a proposal that will see large diamonds, whose lines and facets complement the geometry of the ticket hall, appear to tumble down and around the escalators.

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artwork concept

A homage to the goldsmiths, jewellers and ironsmiths of nearby Hatton Gardens, the 2m tall designs will be digitally printed on to the glass panels that line the walls, and be backlit so they shimmer and appear 3D.

The opportunity to be part of the £15billion rail project was too good an offer for Simon to decline.

“Simon Periton’s eye-catching designs at Farringdon Station make clever use of lines and light, as well as providing a nod to the impressive metal work at Smithfield Market,” said Catherine McGuinness, policy chief for the City, as she welcomed the announcement of the commission.

“As the UK’s fourth largest funder of the arts and proud to promote our vibrant cultural hub that stretches from Farringdon to Moorgate, it is our pleasure to support this exciting initiative on the Elizabeth Line.”

The Corporation has contributed £200m to the project, which is due for completion late next year.