A familiar face about Berkhamsted will become one of the faces of the London Underground today after being chosen for a new poster campaign marking the transport system’s 150th birthday.
Olivia Wilson, 25, who does weekend work behind the bar and box office at Berkhamsted’s The Rex cinema, was picked to take part in the project from hundreds of applicants by Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing.
A giant photo of Olivia will now be displayed three metres high alongside 14 others across a 37-metre stretch of wall spanning the entire platform at Gloucester Road tube station.
The portraits – each by a different artist – will also be displayed at Southwark, St James’s Park and London Bridge stations as part of the ‘15 for 150’ poster campaign.
The images are now being held under lock and key and will not be revealed until 11am today.
Olivia said: “It’s really funny, because I really do not enjoy having my photo taken and I do not think I am that photogenic, so I do not know why I signed up at all.”
Olivia, of Kitsbury Terrace, Berkhamsted, was chosen after deciding on a whim to enter a competition she saw advertised in the Metro newspaper. She said: “I really like the London Underground and the art canvasses they do, which is why I did it.”
Olivia was told to board a train and sit in a certain carriage – and that the artist doing her portrait would get on a few stops later.
Olivia said: “It was meant to be an encounter of strangers.
“It was really interesting, because it was about connecting with people on the tube, rather than being in your own world.”
Olivia did recognise Gillian, as she had studied her work during an art history and English literature degree at Sussex University – and said the artist was ‘really lovely’.
Gillian Wearing became famous by stopping strangers in a busy part of London and asking them to write down what was on their mind.
She then took a photograph of them holding what they had written, with their permission.
The photos were displayed in an exhibition called, Signs that Say What You Want Them To Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You To Say.
Keep checking our website to see the photo Gillian took of Olivia, which will be revealed later today