Smile, please

Travelling on the London Underground is rarely a laugh-a-minute experience, but rush-hour Tube commuters might have something to chuckle about from today onwards, thanks to the Word In Motion animated poetry initiative.

Andy Rementer
Andy Rementer
Work by Andy Rementer

Taking over digital screens on the Tube, Word In Motion features writers including Jarvis Cocker, Ray Davies and Benjamin Zephaniah paired up with designers and artists including Malcolm Garrett, Hextatic and Why Not Associates.

Malcolm Garrett for Jon Burgerman
Malcolm Garrett for Jon Burgerman

The writers were briefed to develop something that would ‘amuse and inspire during the bleak month of January’ and the completed poems were then handed over to the motion artists – who weren’t told who the authors were.

Lizzie Mary Cullen for Ross Sutherland
Lizzie Mary Cullen for Ross Sutherland

The results include a crystalline animation by Pavel Ivanov for pop star Cerys Matthews and Francesca Beard’s wordplay brought to life by artist Ben Collier-Marsh.

Why Not Associates for Keith Turner

Other tasty-sounding collaborations include Jon Burgerman writing for Malcolm Garrett and Liam Brazier working with the words of Jarvis Cocker.

Jonathan McKee
Jonathan McKee
Work by Jonathan McKee

Word in Motion has been developed by Smile for London, an initiative run by Jo Kotas (formerly of Bunch) and Alex Stevens. Smile for London, the founders say, aims to ‘realise the untapped creative potential of the platform screens in the London Underground’.

The films will be playing across 60 screens on the London Underground, at stations including Oxford Circus, Charing Cross, Camden Town, Angel and Paddington.

Word In Motion runs for two weeks from 16 January, during morning and evening rush hours. For more information visit www.smileforlondon.com

Latest articles