Up to 60 New Routemaster bus sculptures will be unveiled across London this October as part of celebrations to mark the Year of the Bus. The bus sculptures, which are 2.5m long, 1m high and 0.5m wide, will be painted and adorned by well-known and aspiring artists to showcase the vital role that London's buses play in the life and economy of the city and the UK as a whole.
Londoners and visitors to the city will get the chance to discover the bus sculptures, which will be organised in clusters, on foot by following public art trails in five areas of the capital - three in central London and two in outer London.
The sculpture trail is part of Transport for London (TfL's) celebrations to mark the Year of the Bus in partnership with London Transport Museum and the capital's bus operators, and is being delivered with creative events company Wild in Art.
Over 100 submissions from artists and designers have been received and an event was staged last night at London Transport Museum to match artists with sponsors.
The project will be entirely funded by individuals and organisations sponsoring the bus sculptures, with the Year of the Bus Sculpture Trail running from Monday 20 October for seven weeks.
At the end of the event, the bus sculptures will be brought together in a final display before being auctioned, with all proceeds split between three charities: Kids Company, Transaid and London Transport Museum.
Leon Daniels, TfL's Managing Director for Surface Transport, said: "These sculpture trails will give Londoners and visitors to the city an exciting opportunity to discover original artwork on foot in both central and outer London locations. The project also seeks to remind everyone of the key role that London's buses play in the lives of so many millions of people in this city. The New Routemaster is already famed for its asymmetrical geometry, curves and flowing lines - I'm delighted that this sculpture trail will see the iconic London bus transformed into multiple works of art across the city."
Charlie Langhorne, Director of Wild in Art, said: "We are thrilled to be working with Transport for London on the creation of the Year of the Bus Sculpture Trail. Our events are designed to bring the enjoyment of public art to hundreds of thousands of people while offering new ways to explore a host city. It will be a fantastic spectacle and is an excellent way to raise vital funds for Kids Company, Transaid and London Transport Museum."
Events and activities are being held throughout 2014 to celebrate the role that London buses, bus drivers and the staff who support them play in keeping the capital moving, and mark a number of important anniversaries. These include 60 years since the creation of the original and iconic Routemaster, 75 years since the launch of its predecessor the RT-type bus, and 100 years since hundreds of London buses were sent to the Western Front to play a crucial role during the First World War. There's still time for businesses wanting to be part of the Year of the Bus Sculpture Trail to sponsor one of the buses. Interested organisations should email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. The Year of the Bus is supported by and delivered in partnership with Exterion Media, Abellio, Arriva London, Clear Channel UK, Go-Ahead London, Metroline, RATP Dev UK, Stagecoach, Wrightbus, Optare and Telent Technology Services.