Created by London artist Benedict Radcliffe, ‘London Taxi’ is inspired by the iconic and traditional design of London’s black taxis. The sculpture gives a new perspective on a well-recognised part of London’s landscape. The ‘London Taxi’ will bid farewell to 20 million passengers at Terminal 2 every year and will be Benedict Radcliffe’s first piece of permanent public art.
The ‘London Taxi’ is the central feature of Terminal 2’s departure lounge, creating an opportunity for passengers to take one last glance of one of London’s most photographed icons. With an emphasis on British brands at Terminal 2 and with Richard Wilson’s sculpture Slipstream at its entrance, the Heathrow team and Radcliffe selected the ‘London Taxi’ for its distinct representation of modern Britain.
Benedict Radcliffe, originally from Kent, is an emerging London artist who has been commissioned by brands such as Paul Smith, JCB and Range Rover. His works have ranged from installations inspired by manufacturing, fashion, technology and transport. In the 2011 ‘The power of making’ show at the Victoria and Albert museum, his work featured alongside Thomas Heatherwick and Ron Arad.
The ‘London Taxi’s’ design uses cutting-edge computer programming technology to accurately translate the build specification of the London black cab’s produced by The London Taxi Company based in Coventry. The etching on the artwork’s plinth features step by step road directions from the artist’s workshop in Shoreditch to Heathrow’s Terminal 2 and was inspired by ‘The London Knowledge’ test that taxi drivers need to pass to obtain their licence. The sculpture was manufactured in Shoreditch, London and will be installed overnight at Heathrow.
Benedict Radcliffe says: “It's hard to think of a more instantly recognisable motor vehicle, British or otherwise, than the FX4 Black Cab. Synonymous with London for more than half a century, the FX4 first appeared on our streets in 1958 and has served London and many other towns and cities in the UK ever since. I am incredibly proud to have been selected by Heathrow for a permanent display at Heathrow’s Terminal 2, the opportunity to exhibit at the UK’s hub airport has been a great honour for me.”
Normand Bovin, Heathrow’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “As the UK’s only hub airport, we have a unique opportunity to showcase British talent to the world. I am delighted that we have chosen a London artist and given new talent a platform in front of 20 million passengers a year from more than 50 destinations.”
Paul Brennan, Taxi driver and member of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association says: “I’m delighted that the famous black cab has been recognised in such an innovative way. Benedict’s done a fantastic job of creating a piece of art representing the London Taxi and we’re thrilled that millions of passengers coming through Heathrow every year will get to see such an iconic part of British culture.”
About Benedict Radcliffe
Benedict Radcliffe (born 1976) works across a wide spectrum of disciplines, creating everything from cars and bicycles to furniture and household objects, as well undertaking various architectural commissions and signature sculptural pieces for clients across the globe.
After graduating from the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow, Radcliffe staged his first exhibition in the city, featuring his ‘modern Japanese classic’ – a full size 3D wireframe Subaru Impreza, subsequently purchased by collector, David Roberts. As a result of the show, he received commissions from Comme des Garcons, Puma and Paul Smith.
Radcliffe left Glasgow in 2007 and set up a studio in London. His clients include a broad range of the best known and most prestigious brands in the world – from manufacturing and technology to transportation, fashion and the luxury goods sector.
In the 2011 ‘The power of making’ show at the Victoria and Albert museum, his work featured alongside Thomas Heatherwick and Ron Arad. He has been invited to exhibit and talk around the world and his work is held in private collections in Europe, America and Japan.
About Heathrow’s Terminal 2| The Queen’s Terminal - world firsts
• Terminal 2 is the first terminal in the world to have a complimentary Personal Shopping lounge where trained stylists will present a curated range of products for each client www.heathrow.com/personalshopper
• A restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal serving Britain’s favourite dishes with a twist from traditional fish and chips with the ultimate crunchy batter, liquid nitrogen ice cream and pizzas cooked fresh from a wood-fired oven
• John Lewis has opened their first ever airport shop with the best of John Lewis own brand across homewares, fashion, gifting and seasonal lines; as well as offering a curated selection of British brands such as Barbour, True Grace and Joules
• An exclusive Heathrow beer is available from London’s Pride by Fuller’s. This bar and restaurant is located just 8.3 miles from the historic Fullers brewery which has been operating for over 350 years.