That’s one way of getting your artworks into an exhibition… Pictures left on public transport are given their own show
Struggling artists take note, rather than trudging around galleries trying to generate interest in your work, the quickest way to get exhibited might just be to leave a painting on the Tube.
A London gallery is featuring 60 artworks, most of them unnamed, that were left on public transport in an exhibition, aptly called Lost Collection, that opens next month.
Little corrections: This impressionism-inspired painting mysteriously features a windmill that has been blanked out
Variety: Many styles (and levels of artistic ability) are represented in the exhibition at KK Outlet in East London
They include works from an entire end-of-year project that Wimbledon College of Art student Regis Gautier-Cochfert lost at Earl’s Court and never reclaimed.
He has since been in touch with the organisers and is excited to be reunited with his work which was a moving photography project that dealt with the death of his father.
Losing his portfolio clearly didn’t hinder Regis’ progress, he is now Head of Art at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Other pictures in the exhibition range from still lifes to moody black and white portraits, all found on the capital’s Tubes, buses, trains and black cabs.
Left behind: The contents of Regis Gautier-Cochfert’s end-of-year Wimbledon College of Art project was never reclaimed
Memories: The artist is ecstatic to be reunited with his photographs that dealt with the death of his father
It is hoped, but not expected, that some of the pieces might be revealed as hidden great works.
Danielle Pender, one of the show’s curators said: ‘Who were these creators? What were they trying to communicate and, most importantly, do they have any talent?’
Almost 200,000 items were found on London’s public transport network last year.
Reunited: It is hoped that more of the artists whose work is exhibited will recognise their paintings
Abstract: Some of the works are more contemporary than others and the portraits range from caricatures to photographs
Books are the most commonly deserted items, with more than 38,000 found last year, but more unusual finds include a coffin, a jar of bull’s sperm and a park bench.
Staff at the Lost Property Office in Baker Street office carry out Sherlock Holmes-style investigations of their finds, and one in three are usually reunited with their owners.
Julie Haley, TfL’s Lost Property Office Manager, said: ‘Reuniting two urns of ashes with the families who had lost them was particularly heart-warming – it was very emotional for all of us.
Rare finds: Items found on public transport are bagged up and stored in Baker Street with the name of the finder
Lost and found: Dentures and braces, and rows of umbrellas in London Transport’s Lost Property Office
‘Having said that, all items are important to their owners and returning even the smallest of items can make a big difference.’
The curators of KK Outlet’s Lost Collection, which runs from June 3 to 30 in Hoxton, East London, hope that they will be able to offer a similar service for the artists behind their exhibits.