Art on a jumbo scale at Heathrow

Art on a jumbo scale at Heathrow

Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 2 will reopen in 2014 with an enormous sculpture – at 70 metres long it will be the longest permanent sculpture in the whole of Europe, in fact – taking centre stage.

The piece of art, entitled ‘Slipstream’, is a metaphor for travel, says artist Richard Wilson. The word ‘Slipstream’ refers to the space following a fast-moving object, in this case an aeroplane, and it is this space that artist Richard Wilson has recorded in twisted aluminium.

‘This form makes present the special kinetic moment of travel, something moving from A to B,’ says Wilson. ‘It represents a journey, and it is the content or form of this journey shown by the impression it leaves as a form in space that we spend time looking at.’

Despite weighing a massive 77 tons, the structure will appear to float weightlessly between two walkways, giving T2’s 20 million passengers a year a changing view as they pass through the airport.

John Holland?Kaye, commercial director at Heathrow, told the BBC that Slipstream was ‘an iconic piece of art that will bring to life the glamour and excitement of air travel, at the heart of a glamorous and exciting new Heathrow’.

Terminal 2 will reopen in 2014 after a ?2.5bn revamp. For more information, visit

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