David Shrigley and Sadiq Khan launch LondonIsOpen poster campaign for the Tube
British artist David Shrigley and London mayor Sadiq Khan have launched a series of artist-designed posters for London's Tube, which declare that the city "will not cut itself off from the rest of the world" (+ slideshow).
Featuring artwork by Glasgow-based Shrigley and nine other artists – including Tania Bruguera, Gillian Wearing and Mark Titchner – the #LondonIsOpen campaign will be displayed in all 270 stations across the London Underground network.
Sadiq Khan launched the initiative with the aim to show that London is both united and open to the world, despite the UK's vote to leave the European Union.
"Art is a hugely powerful way to say that London is open – open for business, open to ideas, and open to the people from across the world who have chosen to live and work here," Khan explained.
"We've asked some of the world's leading artists like David Shrigley to help us communicate the simple but vital message that, despite the uncertainties around Brexit, London will remain an international city that embraces and celebrates diversity, a city where everyone is welcome, and a city that will not cut itself off from the rest of the world."
The campaign forms part of Transport for London's contemporary art programme, Art on the Underground, and will include large-scale posters and digital displays.
London was one of the only regions in England to overwhelmingly vote remain. Since the result, Khan has undertaken discussions with the British government to ensure that the city maintains its close ties to the European Union.
The mayor's office is making a push to protect London businesses from the fallout of the EU referendum, which has included appointing a new deputy mayor to focus on policies that boost the city's creative industries.
Called London: Everyone Welcome, Shrigley's poster graphics feature the artist's distinctive hand-drawn style. London is written in black, while coloured sketches of the world replace the letter O.
The artwork will be displayed on multiple sites across the London Underground, as well as featuring on limited-edition Oyster card holders.
"We need to send a message loud and clear that whoever you are, and whatever your background, London is still open to you," said Shrigley.
"As artists we see every day that our city's vibrancy and success is intrinsically linked to being open to people and ideas from across the world."
Designed to be displayed on digital escalator panels, photographer Gillian Wearing's Work Towards World Peace artwork is an image of a couple holding a sign emblazoned with the title.
Cuban installation and performance artist Tania Bruguera has created an image of Pangea, the single supercontinent that split 300 million years ago, alongside the statement "Dignity has no nationality".
Entitled The Francis Effect, the work aims to address issues of immigration and citizenship and will be displayed on LCD digital screens.
London-based Mark Titchner has created an animated work using the slogan "No them only us". It will be displayed on the Brixton station header wall and as a digital video on cross-track projectors on station platforms.
Six more pieces by Sol Calero, Alexandre da Cunha, Jeremy Deller, Hew Locke, Indra Khanna and Bedwyr Williams are also included in the campaign, which will be displayed from September.
The vast majority of the UK's creative sector is thought to have voted to remain in the EU. Last week, Dezeen convened a summit of leading practitioners, retailers, writers and lawyers to discuss what Brexit will mean for the sector and what action can be taken.