Every day, some 25,000 of us hop on at Mile End tube station to brave the baking Central line, whether you’re a born-and-bred East Ender or a tourist.
Graphic designer Luke Agbaimoni is finding beauty in mundane daily commutes, inspired by the sense of togetherness it creates. Determined to photograph every station in the capital, he has now snapped 250 stops, including Mile End.
It has taken him two years to photograph almost half of the capital’s 630 stations. He explains, ‘you start to see beauty in it, because beauty exists in everything.’
‘I wasn’t initially a tube geek,’ he laughs. The Tube Mapper mission is actually thanks to a growing family. ‘My daughter was about to be born, I was scared I wasn’t gonna be able to take photos again,’ he explains. ‘I liked photographing landscapes at night, but I didn’t have that kind of free time anymore.’
He decided to put the limited time available for his hobby to good use: ‘I realised could take a couple of pictures a day on my commute to work, take different routes. It built up.’
The Bermondsey-born Agbaimoni was inspired by a sense of togetherness, the way the capital’s public transport network links millions on the move. ‘It’s a moments of recognition, if you consider a shared amount of people are doing the same thing, every day.’
Agbaimoni was particularly awed by ‘buzzing’ Mile End station, with its symmetry of red, green and cream tiles. ‘The thing that struck me the most was the miles of tiles – I love puns. It’s really sad, the appreciation that I have for tiling.’ The tiling is thanks to a Transport for London renovation of Mile End station in 2010.
This love of mirrored patterns is characteristic of all Agbaimoni’s urban photography. He describes the joyous sensation of discovering symmetry in daily life: ‘You walk down a path, and all of the sudden two trees meet – it’s a visual thing, you don’t voice it, it just makes you smile or wince.’
Small moments can inspire this excitement in all of us, like ‘when you’re walking in an underground tunnel, and the tube doors line perfectly in front of you, that sense of symmetry.’
Which one of Agbaimoni’s photos best captures the spirit of Mile End tube for you?
Do you have a minute?
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