During 1995-1996, as part of the BAA Art Programme, we commissioned Giles Eldridge, Paul Langworth and Adrian Hemming for a series of site specific works, which formed an integral part of the Heathrow Terminal 1 Art Collection.
Giles Eldridge was commissioned to make a series of works on paper to greet passengers and staff as they made their way through Heathrow Terminal 1 Departures. Eldridge’s inspiration came from the BAA airport design manuals that set the company’s branding and distinctive identity. Eldridge worked with a selection of pages from the manual to produce a series of multi layered and multi media works on paper including drawing, photocopying, and watercolour.
Paul Langworth’s inspiration came from the travellers passing though the terminal, predominantly on their way to sunny holiday destinations. Langworth took his colour scheme and format from sun drenched tourist postcards, with a pallet of bright blues, yellow and white depicting scenes of families, airplanes arriving and departing and sunny skies; all pared down to his pixillated style.
Adrian Hemming ‘Big Bird 1 & 2, Touchdown 1 & 2’ large scale paintings on the theme of aviation, were inspired by the act of travelling and the acknowledgement of a particular place. ’My work as an artist is profoundly influenced by travel. To travel, is different from going on holiday. I don’t travel to find the perfect landscape. Notions of the sublime are no longer the holy grail of the artist. However the restless nature of travelling, the constant expectation of the next sensations all inform and help the artist make the work.’ Taking a hands on approach and exploring areas that the public were not allowed in, Hemming embarked on his creative journey. ‘With sketch book in hand, I was allowed to wander outside of the terminals alongside the runways, following of course strict safety obligations. The smell of aviation fuel, the noise, the sight of 450 tons of a 747 coming in to land as well as taking off, these images became profoundly etched in my mind.’
Hemming’s paintings are underpinned with a conspicuous sense of place and moment, invariably showcasing a brilliant response to light and texture but there is also a deeper, intensely serious awareness of painting’s potential relationship with poetry, literature, science and with the art of the past.