Terrace Wires is a prominent programme for public art, bringing a series of major installations to St Pancras International’s iconic Barlow Shed roof, where they are suspended in front of the station’s famous clock. It offers 48 million travellers each year the chance to experience the latest contemporary art as they pass through the station.
St Pancras International has been home to some of the finest and most discussed pieces of public art – from the Martin Jennings statue of Sir John Betjeman, to Paul Day’s Meeting Place Statue, known now to many as “the Lovers” – alongside the iconic Olympic Rings from last summer. With up to one million visitors every week, we have the opportunity to treat commuters to something exciting, intriguing and new.
Developed and inspired by a desire to add the romance back to travel, Terrace Wires is brand new rotational public art programme at St Pancras International. It is an ambitious and significant sense of commitment to this wonderful station; serving the people who use it day in, day out with something magical.
By inviting world renowned artists to be inspired by St Pancras International, a visitor’s day should be punctuated by a little moment of joy. The panel behind the commission would like customers and commuters to look up – quite literally – in awe at the installation, stirring a desire to capture and share that moment with others.
The Terrace Wires is overseen by an advisory panel who include Edmund De Waal, Evan Davis, Nigel Carrington, Chris Wainright, Richard Cook and Nicola Shaw. The programme started this year with Lucy + Jorge Orta’s work, which will grace the station until Autumn, with a second piece of artwork to be unveiled in spring 2014.
We see Terrace Wires as an enabler of extraordinary art, in an extraordinary place.
Terrace Wires is one of the country’s most ambitious public art programmes. A new work is commissioned every year to hang for six months from St Pancras International’s iconic train shed roof – a magnificent space which is seen by a million UK and international travellers every week.
2017 will be the 5th year of the programme, and the third year working with the Royal Academy of Arts. Previous artwork includes Cloud: Meteors by Lucy+Jorge Orta, Chromolocomotion by David Batchelor, One More Time by Cornelia Parker RA and Thought of Train of Thought by Ron Arad RA. You can read more and see past Terrace Wire artworks by clicking here.
The Terrace Wires artwork is chosen by a panel. They seek the submission that is most inspired by the station, its beauty and grandeur, and the history and architecture of the station.
The artist explores subjects that lie on the borders of geometry and philosophy, physics and metaphysics. In recent years Conrad Shawcross RA has expanded his practice to tackle public spaces, with major works in Dulwich Park (Three Perpetual Chords, 2015), the Royal Academy of Arts courtyard (The Dappled Light of the Sun, 2015) and Chatsworth House (Beyond Limits, 2015).
In 2016, Paradigm, a 14m high monumental work, was unveiled outside the Francis Crick Institute in the heart of King’s Cross, London, and a major architectural intervention, The Optic Clock, was unveiled for the Greenwich Peninsula low carbon Energy Centre.
In partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts, we are proud to showcase The Interpretation of Movement (a 9:8 in blue), 2017 by UK artist Conrad Shawcross RA.
This is his largest mechanical work to date, stretching out to 16m in diameter underneath the vast St Pancras International roof. Mesmerising and methodical, it consists of three articulated arms with sails that expand and contract as they orbit and eclipse each other in mid-air.
Shawcross’s work has been exhibited at leading UK and international arts organisations.