To mark 100 years of the Representation of the People Act, Art on the Underground is putting female artists at the forefront of public space.

The year-long programme has commissioned an international selection of women including Heather Phillipson, Linder and Marie Jacotey taking over spaces at Gloucester Road, Southwark and Brixton. Artworks will also be printed on 25 million tube maps and with over 6 million journeys taken on London Underground each day, the series will have a mass presence across the city.

It’s about time that the work of female-identifying artists is becoming more widely recognised. In 2016, 63% of undergraduates that studied creative arts and design subjects were female, and in contrast, only 29% of artists represented by London’s major galleries were female.

Heather Phillipson, Image by Rory Van Millingen

“Throughout history, women artists have questioned feminist identities, gender roles and sexual politics to push for social change. The programme will give space to the diverse publics that make up our society, addressing structural gender imbalance which is prevalent in the arts and in particular the public arts.”

Heather Phillipson will take over the 80-metre-long platform at Gloucester Road station with “a kinetic panorama”, exploring the subject of eggs as a symbol of reproduction, birth, overproduction and exploitation.

“The 2018 programme is an opportunity to bring artists of an international renown to the spaces of our city – not because of, or in spite of, or in celebration of gender. But, because these artists have powerful voices for today and question dominant power structures of the city in myriad ways,” said Eleanor Pinfield, head of Art on the Underground.

Header image Njideka Akunyili Crosby Mama, Mummy and Mamma, 2014.