An exciting new sculptural exhibition has taken over a disused waiting room at Peckham Rye Station. Well, colour us intrigued! Coming from acclaimed artist Sarah Sze, the new train station art installation continues her Timekeepers series of large-scale sculptures.
Hitting the Peckham Rye Station waiting room on May 19, the new work builds upon Sze’s history of impressive installations and sculptures. Her works, which are fragile and intricate, are simultaneously impressively grand. And now her next piece has taken over the Victorian-era Old Waiting Room, which sits in a vaulted space above the Peckham Rye Station ticket office.
Difficult though it may be for us North-of-the-river-ers to believe, Peckham Rye station was once one of the largest stations in England’s rail network. Reflecting that, an impressively vast waiting room was built to accommodate travellers. Over the years the Old Waiting Room was repurposed as a billiards hall, before closing in the 1970s.
It has lain dormant and inaccessible to the public since. However, recent restoration works to the station have extended to the Old Waiting Room. These have in turn resulted in reopening and repurposing for exhibition.
Sze originally studied as an architect before taking up painting. The two disciplines quickly entwined as she moved on to creating large-scale sculptural artwork. Her work immerses visitors in fragile structures that are complemented by found objects and video footage. Author Zadie Smith has described Sze’s work as being like an exploded iPhone, taken apart and expanded into 3D space.
Sze’s sculptures have found permanent homes in La Guardia Airport, New York’s Second Avenue Subway Station, and MIT. Her installations have also been exhibited in galleries all around the world, from Montreal to Denmark and beyond.
Said Sarah Sze:
“I’ve always been interested in certain times throughout history where our relationship to the way we experience time and space in the world speeds up radically. The invention of the aeroplane, the invention of the train, you see really interesting work coming out of that time, in film, visual arts and writing. We are in the middle of an extreme hurricane where we are learning to speak through images at an exponential pace.”
How to see the train station art installation
The immersive installation will run until September 17. Entry is free, and the artwork can be seen from Wednesday to Sunday. Guests can visit from Wednesday to Saturday between 12-8pm. On Sundays, opening hours run from 12-6pm.
Find the Old Waiting Room at Peckham Rye Station, SE15 4RX. Find out more here.