Rachel Whiteread creates holey new London pocket Tube Map design

Artist Rachel Whiteread has designed the new cover for London’s pocket Tube Maps, creating a rather holey look for the guide.

Rachel Whiteread's tube map cover
Rachel Whiteread’s tube map cover

Whiteread has punningly dubbed the design The Hole of London, and the look draws on her explorations of negative space.

Ilford-born Whiteread is perhaps most famous for her 1993 work House, for which she created a concrete cast of the entire inside of a Victorian terraced house in east London. The work won her that year’s Turner Prize.

Rachel Whiteread
Rachel Whiteread

Her Tube Map cover once again alludes to the idea of inside versus outside and negative space, and was created by puncturing it with a number of circular holes in different sizes, showing snapshots of the map within. Or so it seems…

However, this proves to be just an illusion – while the holes correspond exactly with the map inside, the cover is actually solid, forming a clever and textural trompe l’oeil.

Whiteread says, ‘As a sculptor I cast empty spaces, it therefore seemed appropriate to make some holes in London which theoretically could be filled up…’

Louise Coysh, Art on the Underground manager, adds, ‘Whiteread brings a new perspective to London and the Tube. Her artwork allows us to think of vast geographical area covered by the Tube, and brings its underground existence to the surface.’

February 2006 - David Shrigley
February 2006 – David Shrigley

Artists that have previously created covers for the London pocket tube map include David Shrigley, Barbara Kruger and Yayoi Kusama.

May 2010 - Barbara Kruger.
May 2010 – Barbara Kruger.

The map is available for free at London stations from 16 May.

December 2013 - Imran Qureshi
December 2013 – Imran Qureshi

July 2007 - Jeremy Deller with Paul Ryan
July 2007 – Jeremy Deller with Paul Ryan

December 2011 - Yayoi Kusama
December 2011 – Yayoi Kusama

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