Friday 3 April 2009

Art on the Underground


This rather natty, rather interesting, poster was waiting at Birkenhead Park for me the other day. I quote:

Merseytravel is offering residents the chance to be involved in enhancing the journey experience by creating your very own piece of art to go on display at Merseytravel’s facilities near you.

What a fantastic idea! I’m a big supporter of the transport networks putting funding into the arts. The London Underground – my first love when it comes to urban rail networks (sorry Merseyrail) – has a long and distinguished history of design and graphic excellence. It’s more than just the iconic Diagram; it’s also the unified corporate world, the innovative posters, the elegant architecture, and of course the Art on the Underground project. Not only is it a great idea to have publicly funded bodies providing support for day to day beauty in people’s lives, but it also gives bored commuters something to stare at.

Big, big problem with Liverpool’s scheme though.

For more information and to download your entry form check out our website

Well Merseytravel, it’s five days since I first saw the poster, and there’s not a sign of this project on your website. Admittedly, it’s had a redesign since I was last there, so perhaps you’re all sweating buckets over a pile of hot HTML, but putting posters up to advertise a resource, and then forgetting the resource? CORPORATE FAIL.

It’s so disappointing when you try to be nice about someone and they let you down. To cheer us all up, let’s look at some nice horses:


Merseytravel have commissioned artist Janet Shearer to paint this to commemorate the Grand National, and there are posters of it in the subway to Lime Street. The design is taken from a 9 x 5m original at Liverpool South Parkway, which is bonkers for a couple of reasons: (1) 45 square metres of painting is just mad, and (2) there will be approximately 3 people using LSP as a means of getting to Aintree, so its value as a promotional device is pretty non-existent. Still, as I say, big thumbs up to Merseytravel for commissioning it in the first place, when they could have spent the money on a bus shelter or something. I might have to get off the train a stop early next week when I’m on the trip home so I can see it in all its mad, oversized glory.

EDIT: Robert has found the entry form - not through the website (heaven forfend!) but through a Google search. Which is fucking GENIUS, obviously. Anyway, here it is - if any reader wins, I want a credit!


Robert said...

Found it!

Wasn't linked anywhere, as far as I could see, and even the search function on the site didn't turn it up. However, a Google search turned it up straight away!

Scott Willison said...

Amended the post to take it in, and thanks!

Doesn't excuse Merseytravel's general Fuckwittery. Fortunately last time I went on the site there was a "what do you think?" so I gave them both barrels.