Cable & Wireless Collection I

HS Projects undertook an evaluation of Cable & Wireless’ art collection in 2003.

The collection had begun in the nineteenth century soon after the formation of the company, then at the cutting edge of communication technology laying the first transatlantic telegraph cables, followed by cables that reached as far away as New Zealand. The collection evolved over the years to reflect Cable & Wireless’ many technological advances.

Through close consultation with our clients, we assessed the relevance of the collection in the 21st century and helped to re-structure it. Cable & Wireless’ collection comprised of a range of 19th and 20th century artworks and was centred around its original core business of intercontinental telegram and telephone cable based communication systems. As the company changed from being a cable based telecoms company into a digital telecom organisation, the art collection needed to reflect that.

Our consultation work included producing a detailed report that assessed the condition and value of the collection with a number of recommendations. We also curated a programme of exhibitions from the collection throughtout the head office in Theobolds Road to encourage discussion and engage its employees in a dynamic way.

BAA Head Office Collection

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.

BAA Heathrow Terminal 3 Collection

Under the BAA Art Programme, we undertook a series of commissions in 1995 that formed part of the Heathrow Terminal 3 art collection. In close consultation with our clients, we identified the circulation spaces at Heathrow Terminal 3 that took business class passengers to the airline lounges as suitable sites for the commissions. With the majority of business travellers through T3 visiting London for business, it was decided that scenes of London would make the most appropriate theme.

Four young, emerging artists were invited to celebrate famous London landmarks. ‘Man Walking His Dog: Trafalgar Square’ by Guy Noble; ’The Epic and the Everyday’ by John Bartlett, a view of the City of London near St Paul’s Cathedral. For London’s markets, Soho, Portobello and Covent Garden we commissioned Haydn Cottam, while Jonathan Waller’s paintings depicted the quiet, calm leafy greenness of many of London’s parks and gardens with his ‘Queen Mary’s Garden: Regent’s Park’ and a typical summers day in ‘Hyde Park’.

‘Man Walking His Dog: Trafalgar Square’ by Guy Noble and ‘Hyde Park’ by Jonathan Waller have since been relocated to the Compass Centre, Heathrow’s head office and form part of the Heathrow Art Collection.