Commissioned by LU art programme Platform for Art, artist Gayle Chong Kwan has been working with station staff, catering college students, market traders and workers at the celebrated restaurant 'Roast' to create fantastical underground sensory landscapes around London Bridge, Southwark and Borough.
Taking its title from Jules Verne's eponymous novel that illustrates an extraordinary underground world and refers to bodily digestion and the cooking of the earth, Chong Kwan's project Journey to the Centre of the Earth weaves together science-fictional ideas of escapism, imaginary subterranean travel and sensory worlds with the capital's gastronomic heritage. The project also brings together people from many of London's distinct and varied cultures to delve into their personal culinary histories as well as that of LU.
London Underground had a colourful relationship with food and catering - a heritage borne out of a large and hungry workforce. During the Blitz, Tube trains took food to people sheltering in Underground stations. For the project, Gayle Chong Kwan and Underground station staff revisited this culinary heritage and the results can be seen through Journey to the Centre of the Earth, which comprises three large-scale art works/