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Canary Wharf Crossrail Art unveiled

By Hamish McDougall

  • Initial images of art to be installed in Canary Wharf Crossrail station released
  • Michal Rovner’s two-storey video wall to depict streams of people
  • Work is co-funded by Canary Wharf Group and the City of London Corporation

Initial images of the video art to grace Canary Wharf Crossrail station have today been revealed for the first time.

Artist Michal Rovner will install large-scale video screens on elevator shafts and walls inside the 250m long station. Installation will take place in early 2018 ahead of trains running through the new station at the end of that year.

The panels on the elevator shafts will depict streams of human figures moving up and down like waves and will extend over two floors. Passengers will be able to view the floor above and below through space left around the elevator shafts. Additional wall panels in the ticket hall will depict human figures moving in and out on horizontal lines, referencing trains coming in and out of the station.

The £1m installation will allow the artist the ability to change the images over time and is co-funded by Canary Wharf Group plc and the City of London Corporation. 

Michal Rovner said: “The preliminary ideas for these works were inspired by the site, envisioning the human interaction and passage and the accelerated movement of people within the architectural layer and through the space. My aim is to address the multi-layers and vectors of this space and the human flow that will take place in this immense station.”

Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman said: “Crossrail will be much more than just a railway and The Culture Line is an excellent example of that. This commission will add to London’s reputation as one of the world’s great cultural capitals. Canary Wharf Group and the City of London Corporation have our thanks for co-funding what will be a beautiful permanent artwork.”

Sir George Iacobescu CBE said: “Public art has played an important part in the success of Canary Wharf since the early days of the estate’s evolution. From the very beginning our cultural strategy has aimed to provide a vibrant and stimulating environment for all who come here. This has been achieved through an exciting programme of carefully-curated arts and events, including temporary exhibitions and a permanent collection of public art that now stands at over 65 works by a diverse mix of artists that ranges from large-scale sculptures to sensitive interventions in the environment.

“Michal Rovner’s mesmerising animated digital installation for the Canary Wharf Crossrail station represents a welcome addition to the visitor experience, and will bring a new cultural dimension to this major gateway to Canary Wharf’s 97-acre estate. Michal’s art will be seen and enjoyed by over 25 million passengers a year and it is with great pleasure that we look forward to seeing Michal’s piece displayed in such a prominent position.”

Michal Rovner’s artwork was selected by an advisory Round Table of representatives, working in collaboration with Pace Gallery and the funders. It is part of Crossrail’s efforts to deliver art in central London stations by the time trains run in 2018. The art is funded outside of Crossrail’s core £14.8bn funding. The Culture Line will also deliver art works in Paddington, Bond Street, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel stations.

Canary Wharf Group, the City of London Corporation and Transport for London all have long traditions of supporting art and culture in London. Canary Wharf has one of the UK’s largest publicly accessible art collections with over 65 artworks spread over the business and shopping district. A roof garden and the first phase of shops, bars, restaurants and an Everyman cinema will open above Canary Wharf Crossrail station in May 2015.

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For further information contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email [email protected]

Notes to Editor

Michal Rovner
Rovner’s work creates a chain of associations from the poetic to the political.  Masses of people move in rhythmic patterns that appear both orderly and disorderly, creating a new complex language.  Her works about time and the human condition evoke a sense of shifting realities.

Michal Rovner’s (b. 1957, Israel) work in video, sculpture, drawing, sound and installation has been exhibited in over 60 solo exhibitions including a mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of Art, the Israeli Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the Jeu de Paume, and the Louvre.  In 2006, Rovner began a series of monumental structures titled “Makom” (Place) using stones from dismantled or destroyed Israeli and Palestinian houses from Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Haifa, the Galilee, and the border of Israel and Syria.  She worked with Israeli and Palestinian masons to construct new spaces encompassing history, memory and time.  Rovner’s video installations have been exhibited at the Tate Gallery, the Stedelijk Museum, LVMH Headquarters, and YadVashem.  Rovner lives and works in New York and Israel. 

Michal Rovner has been represented by The Pace Gallery since 2003.


Pace is a leading contemporary art gallery representing many of the most significant international artists and estates of the 20th and 21st centuries. Founded by Arne Glimcher in Boston in 1960 and led by Marc Glimcher, Pace has been a constant, vital force in the art world and has introduced many renowned artists’ work to the public for the first time. Pace has mounted more than 800 exhibitions, including scholarly ones that have subsequently travelled to museums, and published nearly 450 catalogues. Today Pace has nine locations worldwide: four in New York; two in London; one in Beijing, one in Hong Kong and a temporary space in Menlo Park, California. Pace London inaugurated its flagship gallery at 6 Burlington Gardens in 2012.

Pace London at 6 Burlington Gardens is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 6pm.


The total funding available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will pass through 40 stations and run more than 100km from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels below central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London. 

The Culture Linehas engaged world renowned London art galleries to create a permanent line-wide exhibition across Crossrail’s new central London stations. The result will be a unique art commission of international importance embedded into the design and architecture of each station.

As well as Canary Wharf, artworks will be permanently integrated into new Crossrail stations at Tottenham Court Road, Paddington, Bond Street, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel. It is hoped they will deliver pleasure and inspiration to Londoners for generations to come and become a global destination for art-lovers. Turner Prize winning artists Douglas Gordon and Richard Wright were recently commissioned to create artworks at Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station, 

The Culture Line falls outside Crossrail’s £14.8 billion core funding and is funded through private sponsorship. The City of London Corporation is match funding art at central London stations. Crossrail is working to secure the additional 50 per cent of funding. Funders will have a once in a generation opportunity to associate their brand with an iconic piece of London infrastructure and some of the world’s most famed galleries and artists.

Artworks are selected by an advisory Round Table of representatives from national and local arts organisations and commercial galleries, working with Crossrail, station architects, the Gallery and funders. The Round Table is advised by Futurecity, a leading cultural and placemaking agency. 

The advisory Round Table members volunteer their time and include: Lydia Yee, Curator at Barbican Art Galleries, Barbican Centre; Kirsten Dunne, Senior Cultural Strategy Officer, Greater London Authority; Susie Allen MA RCA, Founding Director of Artwise; Jo Stella-Sawicka MA RCA, Deputy Director, Frieze Art Fair (London/ New York), Director Frame / Focus; Whitney Hintz, Curator, Hiscox Collection and Independent Advisor; and Ann Elliott, an independent curator and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf Group plc is an integrated property development, investment and management group of companies. It is focussed on the design, construction, leasing and management of grade A office space and high-quality retail, residential and leisure facilities in central London. Over the past 20 years Canary Wharf Group has regenerated derelict wharves into one of the world’s premier business and shopping districts, constructing over 16m sq. ft. of office space; more than any other company in London. These buildings are now occupied by over 100,000 people.

Canary Wharf Group’s tenants, clients and occupiers include some of the world’s leading business organisations from the media, legal, accounting, financial services, IT, energy and transport sectors. Canary Wharf Group has also developed and successfully let over 300 shops, bars, cafes and restaurants including many of Britain’s leading brands. 

The Group’s world-class, year-round arts and events programme offers over 100 diverse and culturally inspiring events performed throughout the Estate. Winner of the 2010 Christie’s Award for Best Corporate Art Collection and Programme at the International Art and Work Awards, Canary Wharf Group showcases over 65 pieces of permanent art throughout the Estate, designed and created by more than 50 artists and craftsmen. A regular exhibition programme in the Lobby of One Canada Square and Jubilee Park further adds to the Estate’s comprehensive cultural and creative offering.

In addition to development on the Canary Wharf Estate, the Group is also involved with projects across London. The Pan Peninsula and Drapers Gardens developments have been successfully completed and construction continues on 20 Fenchurch Street (Walkie Talkie) in the City of London which is nearly fully let. The Group is also in a joint venture with Qatari Diar for the redevelopment of the Shell Centre on London’s South Bank.