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Artwork at Farringdon

‘Avalanche’ and ‘Spectre’ by Simon Periton, 2018

British artist Simon Periton’s locally inspired artworks adorn the new Farringdon station ticket halls, taking inspiration from the goldsmiths, jewellers and ironsmiths of nearby Hatton Garden, and the architecture of the nearby Smithfield market.

Periton’s artwork ‘Avalanche’ features a frieze sequence of large diamonds - a giant piece of tracery that is embedded in the interior glazing of the western ticket hall of the Elizabeth line station, located at Cowcross Street. The lines and facets of the gemstones complement the geometry of the ticket hall, appearing to tumble down and around the escalators and echoes the dynamism of a busy station peopled by travellers in perpetual motion.

The intricate features of each gem have been created by digitally printing in ceramic ink onto the back-lit glass panels which line the walls, some as tall as three metres, subtly highlighted with vivid pinks, greens and yellows so that they shimmer and appear three dimensional. The artwork follows Periton’s long-established practice of creating delicate paper cutouts.

'Avalanche' was created as a homage to the goldsmiths, jewellers and ironsmiths of nearby Hatton Garden, the centre of the UK jewellery trade.

Farringdon Western Ticket Hall

“The work will be experienced in glimpses and that’s where a public artwork is different to putting a piece in a gallery… it will be observed for smaller amounts of time but more regularly, so it’s completely different viewing experience.”
- Simon Periton

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'Spectre' by Simon Periton is embedded into the exterior glazing of the Elizabeth line station at the eastern ticket hall, off Long Lane. This artwork, like 'Avalanche', is rooted in the area's history. It features an intricate curvaceous pattern reflecting the elaborate Victorian metalwork of the historic Smithfield Market directly opposite.

Created as a homage to the artisanal and commercial heritage of the area, the artwork allows passengers to see through to the coffered ceiling within – itself an echo of the Brutalist architecture of the nearby Barbican. The piece is printed in pale grey onto the exterior glazing that runs around three sides of the building, emulating etched glass.

The design is based on a drawing by Victorian botanist, theorist and designer Christopher Dresser titled 'Force and Energy' and dated between 1867-73. Dresser's drawing almost directly coincides with the building of Smithfield market situated directly opposite the station entrance. In its curling sinuous organic forms, Periton's intricate glazing acknowledges the ornamental 19th-century metalwork of the market as well as deliberately referring to the etched glass to be found in Victorian pubs.

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“Visually the content of the piece was exactly what I was after in terms of the organic feel for the building but also its timescale was almost exactly the same as when Smithfield was built, so it seemed to be the perfect coming-together of something organic but also structured by humankind.”
- Simon Periton


Sponsor: Goldman Sachs International & the City of London Corporation

Gallery partner: Sadie Coles HQ