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Dryden Goodwin’s Jubilee line staff portraits at Southwark Station

Southwark Station has a new look this month with a billboard featuring a series of portraits of Jubilee line staff.

Linear by Dryden Goodwin
Linear by Dryden Goodwin
Divina works at London Bridge Station
Divina works at London Bridge Station

The billboard is part of a new contemporary art project that aims to reveal the stories behind the people who work on the tube.

Artist Dryden Goodwin created a series of highly detailed pencil portraits of sixty Jubilee line staff and filmed the sessions on a camera attached to his drawing board.

A series of two minute short films were then created that captured the portrait taking shape and recorded the conversation between sitter and artist, producing a fascinating insight into their lives.

Mr Goodwin said: "Drawing someone you've never met before is an intense encounter and enables a unique intimacy to develop. As the portraits unfold so too does openness in the conversation."

The sessions saw staff opening up to the artist about life, love and the highs and lows of working on the Jubilee line. From the mundane to the moving, staff revealed suprisingly intimate details of their lives.

Maureen from London Bridge Station revealed her dream of going to Australia ended when her husband got Alzheimers. "I came as a six month temp in 1979," she said. "I was going to Australia with my friend but he came along and that scuppered it and she went without me. We were planning to go when I retired but my husband now has got Alzheimers."

Mr Goodwin said he wanted to show the true-life stories of people who are often overlooked as individuals by the public.

"Travelling on the Underground we're usually in a hurry – focused on getting somewhere else," he said. "I wanted to create an archive of portraits that reveals some of the personalities behind the people who are rarely acknowledged as individuals by members of the public."

The short films can be viewed online at All sixty portraits feature on a billboard outside Southwark station and the artwork is also on show at the Borough High Street entrance of London Bridge Station.

The exhibition replaces a series of paintings by Peter McDonald that were inspired by his discussions with station staff. Gayle Chong Kwan has also featured artwork at the station.

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