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City of London agrees support for Crossrail Art Programme

By Hamish McDougall

City of London agrees support for Crossrail Art Programme
  • City of London Corporation to match fund half the costs of the Art Programme in Crossrail’s central London stations
  • Crossrail is marketing to UK and international businesses to secure funding for the additional 50 per cent
  • Crossrail’s The Culture Line to deliver artworks by some of the world’s most celebrated artists, in collaboration with London’s most prestigious galleries

The City of London Corporation has given a major boost to Crossrail’s ambitions to deliver a world-class artistic legacy to London, through a funding agreement announced today.

The City Corporation will match fund 50 per cent of The Culture Line, a permanent exhibition of large-scale art works across seven London Crossrail stations, designed in collaboration with London’s leading art galleries.

The artworks will be permanently integrated into new stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf. It is hoped they will deliver inspiration and pleasure to London commuters for generations to come and become a destination for art-lovers world-wide.

Crossrail’s Advisory Art Board is now marketing to businesses and philanthropists in the UK and internationally to secure funding for the additional 50 per cent of the artworks. Businesses 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.

The Culture Line is one of the largest, collaborative public art commissioning processes in a generation. Crossrail is Europe’s largest infrastructure project, and The Culture Line is an integral part of its efforts to design and build new high-quality stations and to vastly enhance areas above and around the new stations.

Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our long-standing support for Crossrail by helping to fund The Culture Line. These innovative new exhibitions will bring together renowned artists and galleries to create a lasting legacy for London. The capital needs world class infrastructure to succeed on the global stage and the Crossrail project is a fantastic example of what can be achieved if policymakers rise to this challenge.”

Terry Morgan, Chairman of Crossrail said: “It is terrific that the City of London Corporation is making such a substantial commitment to The Culture Line. This programme will enhance London’s reputation as one of the world’s great cultural capitals. We welcome interest from the business community, both in the UK and internationally, to match fund these new pieces of art, which will be curated by seven of the world’s premier art galleries and undertaken by some of the most celebrated artists.”

In March 2013 Crossrail unveiled the first artwork to be selected for The Culture Line, with international artist Spencer Finch’s A Cloud Index to be built into the 2,300 square metre glazed station canopy at Crossrail’s new Paddington station.

The result will create a picture of the sky in the tradition of English landscape artists Constable and Turner, and an arrangement of more than 25 different types of clouds.

Artworks are being selected by an advisory Round Table of representatives from national and local arts organisations and commercial galleries. Among the galleries already identified to work in partnership with Crossrail are Lisson Gallery for Paddington station, Victoria Miro for Liverpool Street, Gagosian for Tottenham Court Road, White Cube for Bond Street station and Sadie Coles for Farringdon. Crossrail is in discussions with other renowned galleries for the remaining stations at Whitechapel and Canary Wharf.


The Culture Line will engage seven world renowned London art galleries, together creating a permanent line-wide exhibition across seven Crossrail stations. The result will be a series of seven unique destinations, with an art commission of international importance embedded into the design and architecture of each station.

Each shortlisted artist will be invited to submit proposals that incorporate The Culture Line’s Three Big Ideas:

Art & Architecture

Working in partnership with the architectural design teams and the manufacturers of the keynote materials selected for the build, artists will have an opportunity to use these materials, while integrating their art into the fabric of the Crossrail build.

The River of Light

Crossrail will be able to use 21st-century technology to host light installations or stream digital art through the eight stations and along the whole Crossrail line.

The Urban Gallery

From free-standing sculpture to seating, from way-finding to place-making, Crossrail’s Urban Gallery will put the spotlight on individual, specifically-located art and design works in public spaces within and surrounding the new stations.

The Culture Line will be funded through private sponsorship, and will not be drawn from Crossrail’s existing budget.

The Crossrail Advisory Art Board have volunteered their time, and include: Michael Cassidy CBE, Non-Executive Director for Crossrail and former Chairman of the Museum of London; Colin Tweedy LVO OBE, Managing Director of The Building Centre and Former Chief Executive of Art & Business; Susie Allen MA RCA, Founding Director of Artwise; Lydia Yee, Curator at the Barbican Art Galleries; Whitney Hintz, Curator of the Hiscox Collection and Independent Arts Adviser; Ann Elliott, an independent curator and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; David McNeill, Director of Public Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement at Transport for London; Will Parkes, External Affairs Director at Crossrail; Christina Andersen, Art Programme Officer at Crossrail; Richard Brown, Lead Architect at Crossrail; Sam Richards, Head of Urban Integration at Crossrail; and Futurecity. This panel works together with the Galleries’ representatives and station architects to select inspiring art.

About Crossrail

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will pass through 38 stations and runs for over 100 kilometres from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

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.

About the City of London Corporation 

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. This encompasses three roles: (1) we support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills projects. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charity City Bridge Trust makes charitable grants of more than £15 million annually. (2) We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, Tower Bridge, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London. (3) And we also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events, and research-driven policies.

See for more details.