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View Subterranea 8: Bethnal Green by Rebecca Coleman


Etching / Engraving on Paper, Subject: Architecture and cityscapes, Graphic, illustrative and typographic style, From a limited edition of 100, Signed and numbered on the front, Size: 14 x 17 cm (unframed), Materials: Wood engraving, ink on paper






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One of a series of original wood engravings exploring the dynamic atmosphere and distinctive architecture of the London Underground. This piece depicts Bethnal Green station on the Central line – quiet, save for a lone figure and the distant glow of a train’s lights in the tunnel. As a former Tube commuter myself, I know that – packed full of busy travellers every day – the Underground can very easily be taken for granted. By choosing unusual angles and perspectives of near-deserted stations, my aim in this series of artworks is to help the viewer to rediscover and better appreciate these incredible subterranean man-made structures. In some of these pieces I have substituted great artworks for the stations’ advertisement posters. In this case, Edvard Munch’s The Scream echoes a tragic episode in Bethnal Green station’s history, when it was used as an air raid shelter during World II. On 3 March 1943, 173 people lost their lives in a crush while descending the steps into the shelter. Note: Actual image size is 14x17cm. Hand-printed on a larger sheet of paper to allow for mounting and framing. Framed prints from this edition are also available via Artfinder. Wood engraving is a form of fine art printmaking. The artist uses specialised tools to create the image in relief (and reverse) on the end grain of a block of hardwood – usually boxwood – by removing the ‘white’ parts of the image. This technique is painstaking and highly technical, and allows for the creation of exquisitely detailed works. Rebecca’s wood engravings have been exhibited in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, with the Society of Wood Engravers, and in galleries across the world from Japan to the USA.