This artwork is part of Ways of Seeing, a partnership between Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and the Government Art Collection. Ways of Seeing turns the borough into a gallery with 33 internationally renowned artists displayed in 28 unexpected locations.
For The Great Bear, Simon Patterson re-imagines the London Underground map, replacing the names of stations with ‘stars’. These are engineers, explorers, scientists, actors and artists. Waltham Forest figures include the composer Thomas Tallis and the footballer Bobby Moore.
Patterson modelled his map on the 1931 London Underground map by Harry Beck, a Leyton-born electrical designer. Beck noticed how circuit boards placed points at equal distances. He adapted this to the Tube map, which had previously placed stations geographically.
Patterson likes to explore the systems that order our lives, from maps to scientific data. He subverts them with new, often unrelated information. “There is no code to be cracked in any of my work. Meanings may not be obvious, but nothing is really cryptic.”
Leyton Library is an ideal place for The Great Bear. While you're there, take a journey through the bookshelves or go online and discover the ‘stars’ for yourself!
Simon Patterson was born in Leatherhead, Surrey. He studied at Goldsmiths, University of London, and is one of a generation known as the ‘Young British Artists’. In 2008, The Great Bear featured in his solo exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
Tell us what the artwork makes you think and feel using #wfculture19