14 Aug, 2009

Mind the staff

Posted by: admin In: Creative Review

If you live in London, you may well have met Tsehai Lewis (above), or at least visited him at work. He is one of 264 tube staff photographed by Maria Cox…

For her project, The Face behind the Station, Cox visited each of the London Underground’s 264 currently operating stations (Blackfriars is shut until 2011). Starting on Friday March 6 and finishing on Wednesday June 24, Cox photographed a member of staff at each station.

“There is more to the London Underground than getting from A to B,” she says, “there is a friendly face at every station, often ambiguous and lost in the hurly burly of working life. Many commuters take these people for granted, often giving them abuse, but I have been struck and very impressed by how friendly and important to the safe working of the tube network the Station Supervisors and other underground employees are.”

After taking all their photographs, Cox went back to interview each of her subjects to create a biographical piece about them. She has now submitted the work to Art on the Underground (TfL’s public art programme, which we wrote about here) in the hope that the body will exhibit her project on the tube network. A selection of these mock-ups are shown here.

John Osborne, customer services assistant, Shepher’s Bush. Likes Scarface, BLT’s and TGI’s.


Stephen Newman, customer services assistant, Elephant & Castle. Feeling bashful about his glasses.


Carole Pierre, station supervisor at East Acton. Doesn’t like her trousers.


Steve Rice, station supervisor, Epping. Believes in ghosts.


Tonia Ogunleye, station supervisor, Hainault. Likes cooking and singing.


Olanrewaju Akinbola aka Larry, customer services assistant, Oval. Once saw Rowan Atkinson.

Maria Cox can be reached at mariacox77@live.co.uk

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