In 1995 we commissioned ‘Flight Structure’, an illuminated glass screen by Sandra Blow which was installed in Terminal 3 of Heathrow Airport by the airside entrance. Blow styled the work to convey the transition from security to flight.
Consideration was given by Blow for the screen to combine harmoniously with its surroundings. The steel bands that were part of the interior were used to flow in a free form across the screen while the verticals met the lines of the ceiling in the departure lounge. The shape and dimensions of ‘Flight Structure’ were determined by the gateway to airside which passengers had to pass through. These architectural references are typical of Blow’s work especially since her collaboration with the architect Eric Defty in the 1970’s, after which her work often included geometric shapes and was further underpinned through her increasing use of square canvasses.
According to the artist herself: ‘Flight Structure is balanced to give the sense of a secure enclosure, whilst the luminous, coloured glass panels lift off into animation and gaiety, rising above the purposefulness of the lounge, and from there, with colours running across the top, taking off into flight.’
This commission being Blow’s only experimentation with glass, forms an important part of the artist’s body of work.
We commissioned ‘Flight Structure’ in 1995 on behalf of Heathrow Terminal 3 as part of the BAA Art Programme. In 2013 we re-located the work to Heathow’s head office in the Compass Centre.
Under the BAA Art Programme for their head office collection at Wilton Road, London, we were appointed to commission a series of artworks by emerging artists to reflect BAA’s core values, culture and public image.
Over the period of 1994-1998, we commissioned a number of works, from Sharon Ting’s multi-layered textile work for the Marketing Director’s office; Kate Blee’s richly pigmented dyed textiles; to Keith Roberts’ commission of an airside view of Heathrow Airport with the old control tower in the background for the Board Dining room; and Sandra Blow’s final designs for her monumental glass screen ‘Flight Structure’, conveying an abstracted marshalling and movement of planes at Heathrow Airport.