As part of efforts to embed arts, culture and creativity within the Crossrail project, Crossrail appointed Julie Leonard as our first Artist-in-Residence. Throughout 2014 and 2015 Julie has created a pictorial diary of Crossrail, capturing many of the wide-ranging personalities and construction scenes across Europe’s largest infrastructure project.
Julie, a London-based painter, printmaker and ‘digital artist’, uses an app on her smart phone to create digital and animated drawings. Working in and around the construction sites, she will provide a narrative of the project, incorporating anecdotes from the workforce and communities living and working along the route.
Julie has captured scenes of everyday situations, telling the story about the people, the spaces and the works going on behind the Crossrail hoardings.
Julie Leonard, Crossrail Artist-in-Residence said: “So far I have had a great introduction to Crossrail. There is a great buzz everywhere with real enthusiasm for the project and an incredible camaraderie that seems to unify staff.”
Children create Crossrail-inspired art
In July 2014 Crossrail joined forces with Laing O’Rourke and Arts for All to deliver the first of a series of workshops teaching local budding artists to create construction-inspired artworks.
The initiative saw a group of 8-15 year-old children from Tower Hamlets invited to Crossrail’s Liverpool Street site office. The children attend Shoreditch-based charity Arts for All, which builds confidence in young people through creative achievement.
Led by Crossrail’s Artist-in-Residence Julie Leonard, over three days the children used iPads to create digital artworks based on views of the Liverpool Street construction sites. Volunteers from Laing O’Rourke were on-hand to talk about the construction work and interact with the young artists, providing presentations on Crossrail and the diverse range of jobs and people involved.