The brilliantly named artist Foster Spragge has finished her cylindrical artwork Ticket Cylinder made entirely of used railway tickets. With the Oyster card doing away with paper tickets (and even cash and mobile phones eventually...) there's something almost pre-emptively nostalgic about this 5' 2" tower of orange and yellow slips of card.
Using no glue and only a pair of very steady hands, Spragge has been building this particular tower in Bethnal Green Library since 24 September 2007, adding just under 2 inches of height a day until it reached her target height. As part of Spragge's exploration of the commuter experience, the Ticket Cylinder is evocative of all the journeys taken, all the adventures, misadventures, mishaps, delays, departures, arrivals, goodbyes and hellos each ticket must bear. When encountered in one big solid mass, it's an intriguing way to think about the journeys we take each day without really thinking about it.
The building of the Ticket Cylinder is a key part of its life as an artwork - the process is as important as the final product. The dismantling of it is also important and the structure has been pushed, pulled, prodded and nudged since 29 November with final knockdown due this coming Saturday, 8 December. Once knocked over, the tickets remain where they are in their final phase as an artwork, then removed. In case you were wondering, the tickets are non-refundable and will not be valid after Sunday 9 December. They will be gone by then and only when the last brown magnetic strip has been whisked away will the artwork be complete.
Ticket Cylinder at Bethnal Green Library, until Saturday 8 December. For more information go the website here.