A major new outdoor work by Bangladeshi-British artist Rana Begum is unveiled at King’s Cross today, Wednesday 9 November, marking the start of a new series of public art commissions for the area.
Measuring 50 metres long and 3.5 metres high, the work, entitled No.700 Reflectors, Cubitt Sq. 2016, occupies the full length of Lewis Cubitt Square at King’s Cross.
With saturated colour and complex 3D surfaces, the King’s Cross work features 35,000 reflectors, which create a continuous surface of shifting colour and form, a dynamic interaction with viewers as they pass by.
The work by Begum is part of The King’s Cross Project, a three-year programme of art commissions for the buildings and public spaces of King’s Cross, curated by Tamsin Dillon and Rebecca Heald. With close to 9 million visitors enjoying the area every year, and a growing residential and business population, King’s Cross is a hub, not only at the heart of London, but also a route to the North and East of the UK, and to Europe and beyond.
Hovering between op-art and minimalism, between sculpture and painting, Begum’s work features intricate geometric patterns, frequently inspired by the traditional forms found in Islamic art and architecture. Above all her work comes out of her interest in the complexity, the transience, and the chance encounters of the city, the environment where half the world’s population now lives.
Rana Begum (b. Sylhet, Bangladesh, 1977) lives and works in London. She received her MFA in painting from the Slade School in London. Her works have been acquired by public collections including the Farja Collection, Dubai and most recently MoNA (Museum of Old and New Art), Tasmania. She is the winner of the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2017. Her work has been shown in solo exhibitions including at Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai (2015), MAK Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna (2015), Galeri Mana, Istanbul (2014), Dhaka Art Summer, Dhaka (2014), The Third Line, Dubai (2013). Group shows include the Royal Academy Summer Show, London (2012), Visions, curated by Maria Lind, Testa Konsthall, Sweden (2016), Into Boundless Space I Leap, curated by Kettles Yard, Cambridge (2016), and 11th Gangju Biennale, Korea, curated by Maria Lind (2016).
Her first solo exhibition in London, The Space Between, was recently on show at the Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art.
Speaking about the project, Rana Begum, said:
“I’m really excited for the work to be installed at Cubitt Square, to see how it interacts with its environment and in particular how it changes with the light throughout the day. It’s such a pleasure to create something for a space I pass through very frequently and I hope it gives pleasure to visitors and passers-by alike.”
Commenting on the commission, Tamsin Dillon, co-Curator, King’s Cross Project, said:
“We are thrilled with Rana Begum’s new work, the first commission for The King’s Cross Project, which has slowly come to fruition on site over the past few weeks. The way the work changes in different lights and when walking alongside makes for an endlessly engaging experience, which I’m sure a wide range of audiences will enjoy over the coming months and years. The bold geometric designs in the work, created with many thousands of reflectors, bring a dramatic, colourful intervention in the centre of King’s Cross N1C.”
Ian Freshwater, Project Director, Argent (King’s Cross), said:
“We’re delighted to unveil the first commission of The King’s Cross Project art programme. Rana’s public art enlivens and enhances the square and we were excited to work with her on this engaging installation.”
The artwork is free and open to all to visit. To find out more visit: