A new artwork by Imran Qureshi is the cover for the latest edition of London Underground’s Pocket Tube Map. Launched this month, All Time Would be Perpetual Spring is the final commission by Art on the Underground to mark the tube network’s 150th year.
The work is inspired by the distinct colours of the underground lines and Qureshi has created intricate floral designs for each line, in a contemporary miniature style that borrows techniques from traditional Mughal painting. The artist, who participated in this year’s 55th Venice Biennale and has recently undertaken a commission for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, is known for his conceptual works that combine abstract painting with the centuries-old Islamic art form.
“I was inspired by a life, an activity, and an amazing energy going on hundreds of feet down below the ground,” said Qureshi, who lives and teaches in Lahore, Pakistan. “Each colour represents life – colourful flora which are growing and creating a completely new atmosphere and a positive energy.”
12 million copies of the map will be distributed throughout the tube network, meaning that this miniature commission will possibly be one of the most viewed in the world. Head of Art on the Underground, Tamsin Dillon, said: “This new artwork works brilliantly on this traditional ‘hands-on’ guide. This format has proved to be a challenging and inspiring way for 19 artists so far to respond to the Tube.”