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Artists taking the lead: London

  • Date: 16 May 2011
  • Artform: Visual arts
  • Area: London
Man and woman standing on bus top Alfie Dennen and Paula Le Dieu, Artists taking the lead London commission, Matthew Andrews 2009

Alfie Dennen and Paula Le Dieu, Bus-Tops 

Bus-Tops will be a public art installation on the roofs of bus shelters across London, inspiring creativity in unexpected places. LED panels will become canvases showcasing digital commissions by a range of established artists, as well as allowing Londoners to display their creativity, play games and express what is special about their London.

The project is part of Artists taking the lead, a series of 12 public art commissions across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Arts Council England is delivering the project in partnership with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Creative Scotland and the Arts Council of Wales.

People will be able to submit and view artwork through a number of mediums including website and mobile applications. Using drawing toolkits, people can create images, text or animations for display on the panels. For those unable to view the roofs of bus shelters, the website will provide live updates of the artwork and the opportunity to construct personal 'routes' through the works.

The canvases will appear on the roofs of bus shelters across London from January 2012.

To keep up-to-date with the Bus-Tops project, visit the Bus-Tops blog, or follow on Twitter.

About the artists

Bus-Tops is a collaboration between Alfie Dennen and Paula Le Dieu. Alfie is a technologist and artist, his most recent projects in collaborative art being Britglyph, The Big Art Mob (for Channel 4) and What Is The Question. His interest in mass-collaboration started with the site We're Not Afraid, which he started in 2005 as a response to the 7/7 London Bombings, and since then he has worked on projects which explore public participation and have collaboration at their core.

Paula Le Dieu has a background in technology, media and theatre. She has been involved in facilitating creative communities since 2003 when she started working on the Creative Archive at the BBC. Since then she has designed and championed public participation tools and platforms. She is currently Director of Digital at the British Film Institute.

The panel

All of the winning Artists taking the lead projects were chosen by a panel of artists and producers. The London panel commented:

'Bus-Tops proves that the Olympics will breathe new life into all corners of the capital, transforming the previously unloved tops of bus shelters into a London-wide digital canvas for artists. There is a spirit of openness and innovation about Bus-Tops, which uses new technology to enable both artists and the wider public to become involved in developing and creating art for the city. The panel is thrilled by the world-first element of revealing hidden spaces for art in the heart of the city.'

Read the Artists taking the lead, London panel biographies.

Visit the Artists taking the lead page to find out about the other projects taking place across the UK.