Stuck in traffic on the number 73 bus? As you’re idly watching London go by from the top deck, there’ll soon be more to enjoy…
Enter Bus Tops, a public art project that aims to inject culture and enjoyment into the most unlikely of arenas – the top of bus shelters. It’s one of several innovative art ideas that form part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad’s Artists Taking The Lead programme, which sees 12 new works of art commissioned across the UK.
From now until the end of the Games in September, 30 bus shelters across London will have display screens fixed to their roofs. These screens, functioning as a sort of city-wide digital canvas, will broadcast artworks created by the local community, the general public and nine leading contemporary artists. The latter includes Turner Prize-nominated artist Mark Titchner whose ‘31 Days’ Bus Top art programme is a daily changing series of animations.
Of course, placing artworks in the public realm is nothing new, but it’s the collaborative, democratic nature of the project that’s really intriguing. Anyone can contribute, provided their suggestions aren’t defamatory or pornographic, and could then see their creative musings being viewed from the delightfully specific vantage point of the left hand side of a London bus.
Better than reading the Metro? We think so.
For more information on how to find a pimped-up shelter on your way home, go to: bus-tops.com/routes/