Camilla Barnard creates a life-size wooden London Underground station for designjunction

One of London’s most familiar scenes – an Underground station – has been recreated at life size in wood by artist Camilla Barnard for this year’s designjunction exhibition at the London Design Festival, which opens on Thursday.

The installation has been commissioned by TfL and will showcase other TfL ‘design collections’ – contemporary products and artworks that draw on elements of the TfL archive – by AJ Wells, Alice Made This, Coolicon Lighting, Lindsey Lang, Mini Moderns, Michelle Mason and Swoon Editions.

Barnard’s work includes a ticket hall with barriers, a map, ticket machines, and even a Metro newspaper stand with wooden newspapers. As you move through the ticket hall you can either go to the westbound or eastbound platforms, which have an array of familiar Underground sights, including, of course, a train.

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Photographs of finished installation. Images courtesy Camilla Barnard and Jeff Moore
Photographs of finished installation. Images courtesy Camilla Barnard and Jeff Moore

Barnard has previously recreated everyday items such as washing machines, handbags and record players in wood, and, despite the size of this new installation was surprisingly unfazed by the challenge of creating an entire Underground station. “I teamed up with friend, fellow woodworker and master builder Gunter Luck,” she says. “We first had to go round lots of Underground stations, measuring everything, taking photos, and also colour matching everything to Dulux paint swatches.

“It wasn’t too challenging, we’ve been doing this for a little while now, so once you break down the elements of what you actually have to build, it’s not as daunting as looking at the bigger picture. The most time-consuming thing to do though was probably painting the tube map, getting that just right took a lot of patience, there was a lot of room for error!”

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Illustrations of the installation and work-in-progress shots
Illustrations of the installation and work-in-progress shots

Barnard’s recreations are quirky and fun, though she also hopes to discombobulate the viewer enough to make them think a little differently about the objects they use every day. “It makes people think slightly differently about what they are seeing,” she explains, “hopefully people will have more of a smile on their faces using the Underground after visiting mine.”

Designjunction takes place as part of the London Design Festival and is on from September 24 to 27, thedesignjunction.co.uk. More information on Barnard’s work is at camillabarnard.com.

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