Year Of The Bus – Croydon Sculpture Trail – The Studio

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A couple of months ago, I was commissioned by Transport For London and Wild in Art to produce two designs for the Croydon leg of the Year of The Bus sculpture trail. This post is part one, and is all about the paint, sweat and tears that went into their decoration.

Croydon Layers by Matt Bannister
‘Croydon Layers’
Surrey Street Market by Matt Bannister
‘Surrey Street Market’

 


a vacant shop unit
My ‘home’ for the project – a vacant shop unit provided by Centrale.

Having not painted one of these sculptures, I was a little unsure how the coming weeks would pan out. Given that I was doing two buses and everyone else seemed to just have one, there was no time to be wasted pretending to be an art student with all the time in the world. The first task was to choose my buses and start prepping them for all the acrylic paint to come.

Bus Sculptures

 


Bus 1 – Croydon Layers

The first bus was called ‘Croydon Layers’, and suddenly looked very complicated…

pencil artwork
Design was transferred in pencil first
Man next to a bus sculpture
An idea of scale.
Croydon Layers by Matt Bannister
The final coat of varnish is applied to the roof of ‘Croydon Layers’
Croydon Layers by Matt Bannister
The front of ‘Croydon Layers’ after varnishing

 


Bus 2 – Surrey Street Market

Onwards with the next design, and so some more sanding and painting was needed to key the surface.

Dust Mask
Rocking the crime scene artist look
Surrey Street Market  -work in progress- by Matt Bannister
Ghostly shapes of veg and fruit start to appear
Surrey Street Market  -work in progress- by Matt Bannister
More colours and the hint of a passenger or two
Surrey Street Market by Matt Bannister
Vegetables finished and ready for varnishing
Surrey Street Market by Matt Bannister
Varnished and finished front
Surrey Street Market by Matt Bannister
Finished detail showing the side

 


It was brilliant to finish the two designs, and see the transformation from two to three dimensions. I think it was also darkly hilarious that I was working in a former fitness shop. All that getting up and down off the floor certainly put me through a tough work out each day.

A post-creative self portrait was needed when everything was complete.
A post-creative self-portrait was needed when everything was complete.

The buses were installed on the streets of Croydon today (Monday 08/12/14). For more information visit the TFL website but I will be following up this post with more pics and thoughts about how the sculptures have fitted in.