There are around 3,500 train drivers working on the Tube, and an estimated 20,000 people working for London Underground as a whole. Who are these mysterious, uniformed people? And what do they do when they’re not under the ground?
This month an exhibition called Out of Uniform showcases art made by London Underground employees.
Held at Fill the Gap gallery in Leytonstone, the exhibition is named after an art collective founded by David Nevin, a station supervisor and artist, who back in 2010 realised that more and more of his colleagues were artists on the side.
“I have worked side-by-side magicians, musicians and PhD environmentalists not to mention a clairvoyant,” says Nevin.
“But the most common previous life that caught my ear, eye and heart were the artists. They have a common story of people needing to make a living to support a family and their creative passion.”
The exhibition contains a wide variety of art, from glorious landscape photography to paintings inspired by dreams. The first Out of Uniform exhibition in 2010 was a roaring success, with the response overwhelmingly positive, and Nevin is hoping for a repeat performance.
Fill the Gap gallery is a converted office space just outside Leytonstone station, and is run on a voluntary basis by a trio of tube staff who are also members of Out of Uniform.
Out of Uniform: Artists Working for London Underground is on until 5 December.
Fill the Gap, Church Lane, E11 1HE (next door to La Parisien café, Leytonstone station)