It's just that the routine of regular travel for many Londoners means that they tend to auto-pilot through the underground and are more likely to miss things.
To add to this, most of us are on the underground to get to a destination. It’s a traversal means to an end and we just want to reach our destination quickly and are therefore less likely to be paying attention to what’s around us!
In this guide we'll be highlighting a few things that make London home to some of the most unique and beautiful underground stations in the world. If you are an art, architectural or design enthusiast, then this is the guide for you. Whether you’re visiting London or a local, why not use this piece to build a mini tour and see these great sites for yourself!
London tube art is definitely not limited to just graffiti on walls! Infact, some station locations contain specially commissioned pieces of decorative art by renowned artists. Mosaics were a natural choice for wall art since tiled station interiors are easy to maintain and keep clean.
Eduardo Paolozzi Tottenham Court Road mosaic
Widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of pop art, Scottish artist Eduardo Paolozzi contributed multiple mosaic pieces to Tottenham Court Road tube station. His artistic services were commissioned in1980 by Transport for London and by 1984, his designs covered 950 square meters of the station’s walls. The vibrancy and colour of his tiled mosaic murals dominate the passageways and northern/central line platforms.
Paolozzi’s style centres more to the surrealist side of things than the traditional pop art chic associated with people like Andy Warhole. His Tottenham Court Road pieces centre on blocky patterns made from contrasting colours. You’ll notice the heavy use of yellows and reds that almost result in an aztec-like quality. Far from being completely random, Palozzi’s art is said to be his interpretation of the area and the nature of transport and urbanisation.
Alfred Hitchcock Leytonstone mosaics
In the corridors of Leytonstone station, you’ll see the walls adorned with detailed tile mosaics depicting famous scenes from a range of films by the seminal director. The Alfred Hitch Leytonstone mosaics were installed in 1999 as a centenary tribute to Hitchcock who was born in Leytonstone in 1899. For film buffs and Hitchcock fans, this is interesting in its own right but the skill and detail in these mosaics is truly beautiful.
An example of this is the “Strangers On A Train” carousel fight scene where the facial expressions of both Bruno and Guy are flawlessly replicated. If you fancy stopping by to see these works for yourself, make sure to avoid the rush hour if possible. The mosaics are located on the connecting corridors between stations which means viewing them can be manic in the midst of the morning/evening rush.