‘Eurydice’ Emerges From Darkness

This is a story about one 3QD writer's poem and quotes another 3QD writer! Paul Levy in the Wall Street Journal:

EI-BJ837B_EURID_G_20110323181856 For years, harried commuters in a gloomy South Bank underpass drew courage from the words that greeted them as they entered a long pedestrian tunnel to Waterloo Station.

“I am not afraid as I descend, step by step, leaving behind the salt wind blowing up the corrugated river…” begins “Eurydice”—a poem by Sue Hubbard based on the story from Greek mythology, in which Orpheus tries to retrieve his dead lover Eurydice from the Underworld. The poem was painted in bronze and rust on both walls of the underpass 10 years ago, its stanzas taking people all the way from either entrance to the other, past occasional homeless men sleeping in the tunnel.

The poem was commissioned when Avery Architects renovated the Southbank cultural center, a concrete city that houses the London Eye, IMAX Cinema, the British Film Institute, the Hayward Gallery and the National Theatre complex, among others. In 2001 the Arts Council and the British Film Institute selected Ms. Hubbard, a poet with a track record as a public-places artist, able to collaborate easily with graphic designers and visual artists. The font, “Disturbance,” was designed by Jeremy Tankard.

The public welcomed the poem, which stretched along the wall of the tunnel, which runs from the IMAX cinema to Waterloo Station. In autumn 2009, Time Out magazine listed the poem as one of the best-kept secrets of London.

So it came as a shock when just weeks after the poem's brush with broader cultural fame, workmen employed by Network Rail, which owns the site, painted over it. A modern protest movement ensued.

More here.

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