Battersea Power Station Underground's Colour-Changing Ticket Hall

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 31 months ago
Battersea Power Station Underground's Colour-Changing Ticket Hall

The Northern line extension is officially up and running — and one of its new stations includes a colour-changing art installation, designed to be here for decades to come.

Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset, by the artist Alexandre da Cunha, stretches almost 100m inside the ticket hall at Battersea Power Station (well, kind of — it's actually formed of two strips, facing each other either side of the gates).

The kinetic installation — an Art on the Underground commission — consists of two friezes that use an old billboard mechanism to rotate their numerous panels seemingly at random, creating elongated spectrums high up on the walls throughout the day.

To us, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset is reminiscent of everything from a litmus paper to a thermometer, although da Cunha says it's inspired by the former control room at Battersea Power Station and its system of vertical bars that regulated the production and output of electricity — as well as concepts of "cycles, routine, the everyday and eternity".

We reckon the artwork adds a Wonkaesque touch of technicolor to an otherwise grey and functional ticket hall. And we've got a feeling it'll grow on us — and millions of others — a little more, each visit.

A series of talks with da Cunha is planned for November, offering more insight into his artwork.

All images Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery. Photo by GG Archard.

Last Updated 22 September 2021