Making a splash: the UK’s Airport Art Scene

Bristol International Airport embraces street art; Heathrow's T5 prefers abstract art


Airports are all manner of things: throughfares to the world’s cities, a tourist’s first impression of a country, man-made symbols of hurried, urban life, giant concrete waiting rooms.. and even blank canvases for creative works of art.

Bristol International Airport in the UK’s south-west, a gateway to the city’s famous art scene including works by Banksy, has just unveiled its 57-metre long mural, dressing the walls running along its new Arrivals walkway.

It has not only made a splash here, but put the South-West region on the map, by capturing the energy of local landmarks including Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge and The Royal Crescent in Bath.


Art Attack

For a scrolling view of the mural, visit:

Making a statement: London Heathrow’s “Cloud”

The light, bright, airy space and vaulted ceiling at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 lends itself well to figurative works of art.

Suspended in the ceiling of the Atrium Hall leading to British Airways’ First Class lounge is a dazzling centerpiece by artist group, Troika in the shape of a five-metre “cloud-like” sculpture.

Covered in 4,638 ‘flip dots’, the kinetic sculpture is brought to life as the dots flip from black to silver throughout the day.

Time Travel


BA’s mantra seems to be that if you want to appreciate art, you have to pay for it.

If you don’t normally visit BA’s First and Concorde Galleries lounges at Terminal 5, you’ve probably missed the airport’s second big arty attraction (also the work of Troika): a 22 metre long electroluminescent wall lighting up the entrance.

Coined “All the time in the world” , the installation features a blinking, digital world clock, relaying the time and name of a far-flung or off-beat holiday destination to passing passengers – including, natural, modern and forgotten wonders… from the Grand Canyon to the Taj Mahal and Sydney Opera House.

It’s one of the many off-the-wall artworks BA has commissioned for the benefit of premium paying passengers.

Here’s some other quirks that have infiltrated London Heathrow’s art scene:


Passengers entering BA’s Galleries Club Lounge are greeted by two giant black horse statues, wearing a lampshade on their mane.

christopher-pearson T5

While first class and specially invited guests at BA’s Concord Lounge can witness a stone carving come to life, with a moving hologram projected on the wall above a mock fireplace, by animated wallpaper specialist artist, Christopher Pearson.

Pretentious art?

Have your say

Love it hate it – art gives us something to talk about. Have you been wowed or disappointed with any art collections at airports? Email your pics to us at and have your say below.

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