Spencer Finch's Crossrail commission opens at Paddington Station
20 May 2022
On Tuesday 24 May, Transport for London (TfL) will open the new Elizabeth line, with Spencer Finch’s A Cloud Index unveiled at Paddington Station. This 120-metre long roof canopy has been created using original pastel drawings of 32 different types of clouds, which would never naturally appear together, each hand-drawn by the artist. These drawings were enlarged and digitally printed in white ceramic frit across 180 glass panels. Finch's cloudscape is longer than a football field and has the dual purpose of reducing solar glare into the station. Inspiration for the artwork came from 19th century English romantic landscape paintings by artists such as John Constable, who recorded clouds at different times of the day and year, a process Constable termed 'Skying'.
“The artwork exists both as an artificial cloudscape and as a homage to the British obsession with categorizing and systematizing the most fugitive of natural phenomena. Since Luke Howard first created a nomenclature for clouds in 1803, the efforts to comprehend and quantify clouds have been both beautiful and quixotic, and clouds always seem to stay one step ahead of human understanding.”
- Spencer Finch
Read more on Crossrail's website here.
Image caption: Spencer Finch, A Cloud Index, 2016. Paddington station (Elizabeth line). Commissioned as part of The Crossrail Art Programme. © Spencer Finch; Courtesy Lisson Gallery. Photo: GG Archard, 2022