Platforms Piece, Brixton station, 2011
Platforms Piece, Brixton station, 2011

Platforms Piece consists of three bronze sculptures of commuters at Brixton railway station, completed by the British artist Kevin Atherton in 1986.

History

In 1985 the Public Art Development Trust suggested to British Rail that they commission a piece of art for Brixton railway station. The sculptures were part of the £1m Brixton Station Improvement Scheme, which was devised by the London Borough of Lambeth, British Rail, and the Department of the Environment.[1]

Atherton, the artist, wanted his three figures to represent the real inhabitants of Brixton, and made sure to choose three models who had personal connections to Brixton: Peter Lloyd, Joy Battick[2] and Karin Heistermann.[3]

Atherton made the bronze statues using the lost-wax casting process, having made plaster moulds of his three models in a disused ticket office on the station platform (converted into a studio for his use).[4]

The sculptures were unveiled by Sir Hugh Casson, who had also been on the selection panel that chose Atherton's pitch for the job, on 30 June 1986, once the station had been renovated. Platforms Piece won the Association of Business Sponsorship of the Arts Industry Year award for the best commission in any medium in 1986.[5]

In November 2016, Platforms Piece was given listed status by Historic England, and two of the figures are believed to be the first public sculptural representations of black British people in the UK.[6]

References

  1. ^ "Platforms Piece", Historic England, retrieved 2021-01-10
  2. ^ "Brixton station statues to undergo checks and repairs", BrixtonBlog, retrieved 2021-01-10
  3. ^ "Platforms Piece", Historic England, retrieved 2021-01-10
  4. ^ "Platforms Piece", Historic England, retrieved 2021-01-10
  5. ^ "Platforms Piece", Historic England, retrieved 2021-01-10
  6. ^ Mark Brown. "First UK public statues of black British people given listed status | Art and design". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-12-08.

Coordinates: 51°27′47″N 0°06′50″W / 51.4631°N 0.1140°W / 51.4631; -0.1140