Lifestyle

Westminster Underground Station Unveils Permanent West African-Inspired Roundel

At most London Underground stations, you’ll have probably grown used to the classic blue, white and red logo that you don’t even notice it anymore. But, over at Westminster Underground station, a brand new permanent roundel has been unveiled.

The “Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers’ Alliance (Union) 2022”, designed by British-Ghanaian artist Larry Achiampong, went up today. The green, black, red Pan African colours aim to reflect the land, and the yellow-gold offers a symbol of a new day and prosperity. 54 stars displayed on the roundel also represent all 54 African countries joined together in union.

Image: TfL

You can view the roundel at Westminster station, along with a number of permanent plaques and pocket guides exploring the meaning of the artwork. These all appear before needing to go through any ticket barriers, which was requested by Larry Achiampong to allow more people to feel included in its story.

If Larry Achiampong’s beautiful work on this roundel seems familiar to you, that’s because it probably is — for two reasons, in fact! The Bethnal Green based artist designed eight reimagined roundels for TfL in 2019 in a temporary commission at Westminster station. These designs were displayed at 70 different locations around the station. And, his work is also featured on the commission for the cover of London Underground’s pocket Tube map, called “What I Hear I Keep” which shows a bold star and chevron design using the Pan African colours.

Larry Achiampong said: “I feel that this permanent work at Westminster centres itself as a place of representation, so that among the many that will encounter it, especially young black kids who pass it by chance can see it as a lifting point.

“I didn’t see many artworks in public spaces growing up that were saying this is part of you or you can connect to this; this belongs to you. It’s important to have a connection to and a stake in a place.”

The Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers’ Alliance (Union) 2022 roundel is now permanently installed above the main entrance to the station at Westminster Bridge Road.

You can read more about Larry Achiampong’s projects here