The Art of Training it in Stockholm Sweden

Metropolitan railway lines are an essential part of the public transport system in hundreds of cities around the world. Whether they be underground, elevated or running at ground level, one thing which most metropolitan stations share is a certain functionality.

Let’s face it, your average railway station carries no innate beauty, and as far as artistic decoration is concerned, advertising hoardings and graffiti are usually the only public works on display.

The city of Stockholm in Sweden takes the artistic merit of ordinary railway stations to a new level, for in Stockholm they have turned the majority of their metro stations into art galleries, and the results are simply stunning.

When you are waiting for a train in Stockholm you don’t get bored with the similarity of it all, as 90 of Stockholm’s 100 metro stations have been decorated with some inspiring art works.
For the price of a Stockholm Metro ticket you can see sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations, inscriptions and reliefs from the 1950s through to the 2000s at most of the Metro stations. It is a ridiculously impressive 110 kilometres long, and it contains the works of hundreds of artists. Of course, not all of these works of art will meet everybody’s taste, but the thinking behind the project is for commuters to appreciate the effort taken to appeal to their senses.

For a very long time in Stockholm the powers that be had been trying to bring art to the people. With the building of the Stockholm Metro in the 1950s this was realized at T-Centralen and today you can see it in the tiling and reliefs on the walls of the station.

Several hundred artists’ works are on show at the Stockholm Metro and unless you spend a lot of time and effort making a personal visit to each station you’re not going to see all of them. However, you can take one of the guided tours that is available for just the price of a valid ticket. This allows you to visit four or five stations with one of the Metro experts.

The art on show at the Stockholm Metro’s stations is hugely impressive because of its scale and variations and for the way that it interacts with the station environments. Take Solna Centrum Station, for instance. What really stands out is its cavernous, bright red ceiling that seems to ‘weigh down’ on the platform. Meanwhile the walls of the station depict a spruce forest that is one kilometre long. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say, but waiting on a train at this station and others on the Metro is like no other.

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