Crossrail appoints artist Spencer Finch for Paddington station

Crossrail is proud to announce the appointment of artist Spencer Finch for Paddington station, becoming the first of eight world-renowned artists to form The Culture Line.

Spencer Finch

The Crossrail Art Programme will bring world-class artists together with international architecture and engineering teams in the delivery of a visionary art strategy for the new railway. The Culture Line will involve partnerships with eight world renowned London contemporary art galleries in order to define the programme as part of London’s world class contemporary arts scene.


Eight artists, eight galleries and eight Crossrail stations will provide a permanent line-wide exhibition across the eight central Crossrail stations. In partnership with each art gallery, an internationally recognised artist will be selected to be part of the Crossrail story by participating in the largest, commissioning programme in a generation. The result will be eight unique destinations, with a site specific art intervention embedded into the design and architecture of each station.


The first station to begin the programme is Paddington in partnership with the Lisson Gallery, from which Spencer Finch has been selected. His proposal, A Cloud Index, intends to create an index of clouds embedded within the glass of the centrepiece of the new station: the 120m long canopy. The result will create both a picture of a the sky in the tradition of English landscape painting by artists such as Constable and Turner, but also a taxonomy of more than 25 different types of clouds. The image will interact with the environment, changing with the different light and weather conditions. On a clear day, the clouds on the glass will float in the blue sky and on cloudy days they will overlap and interact with the real clouds, casting soft, ever-changing shadows into the station.


Artist Spencer Finch said: “I am thrilled about this project. No one believes me when I say this, but English clouds are really different from American clouds, they are closer to the horizon, denser, and move across the sky differently. I am so excited to have this opportunity to get to know these English clouds and do something beautiful with them on a grand scale. The opportunity to work on a cloud piece at this scale is totally irresistible, and I am confident that the subtly and complexity of this project will enhance the experience of the beautiful new Paddington Crossrail station.” 

The glass canopy provides shelter to a major new public space and to the station below, allowing natural light to flood into the new station via a 90m x 10m opening in Departures Road.  At 11m tall and the length of a football pitch, the new canopy signifies the presence of the station within the street, yet can also be seen from the Crossrail platforms almost 30m below ground. The light from the canopy will be a constant reference point providing intuitive wayfinding for passengers as they move around the station.


Lydia Yee, Curator at Barbican Art Gallery said:  “Spencer Finch’s proposal brings a beautiful cloud-filled sky to the new Paddington Crossrail Station. His plan makes use of the station’s most dramatic architectural feature and creates an interplay with the changing light and atmospheric conditions. Finch’s project promises to extend the enduring British landscape tradition for future generations.”

For more information on the artist, click here or visit

For further information contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email