A bike shed next to Shadwell DLR is an unlikely site for a piece of public art in London.
This is Time and Tide by Alison Turnbull and was commissioned as a piece of art by the DLR who have a number of artworks across their network.
The shelter consists of double-sided panels, one side of which features monochrome images of the lunar cycle, while the other side shows tide tables from three cities, London, Hamburg and Boston.
The artist intends that the work will prompt thoughts of the sea, distance and the passage of time, although realistically, I doubt many people give it a second glance, parking bikes on one side and waiting for the bus on the other.
She said at the time: “I approached this commission by thinking about the sea, shipping and navigation and by taking London’s maritime history as my starting point. I was also aware that the design that eventually emerged would need to be graphically bold and capable of being transformed and adapted at successive stations as their provision for cyclists is developed.”
It’s probably more interesting for being something that most people pass by without noticing, and hence the sort of thing we can point out as a carefully planned element of the background clutter of the streets.
Time and Tide was awarded ‘Best Cycle Facility’ in the 2008 London Cycling Awards.