Book review: London Underground Symmetry & Imperfections

The second book by Luke Agbaimoni in The Tube Mapper Project showcasing his photographs of station platforms and public areas on the London Underground focuses on visual moments of symmetry.

With over 300 stations to choose from (Underground, Overground, DLR and Elizabeth Line), there is much to work with, from tiling patterns, trains, staircases, or a fortuitously-placed or captured pedestrian.

In Agbaimoni’s lens, what could be purely functional becomes a thing of beauty. Indeed, one section uses dancers and athletes to mimic station lines with their bodies; a fascinating juxtaposition of grace and craft.

Both transport and architecture nuts and those fond of what photography can achieve if you have enough patience and vision to wait and capture what you need.

This book and its predecessor, The Tube Mapper Project: Capturing Moments on the London Underground, prove that even a handrail can be beautiful.

What is interesting about the second book is the inclusion of short poems that give additional life to the images. There are also tips for the budding camera buff to try and get similar shots.

Agbaimoni’s snaps, in both black and white and in colour, are a pleasure to look at. You can get an idea from his Twitter account and website, and you can also use the images to guide you in noticing quirks at your local station.

This is a fine hardback book, running to just over 150 pages. The images are very high quality, and unlike the first book, do not span across two pages, making them much easier to appreciate.

Make a place on your shelf for the Tube Mapper books if you have any interest in art, architecture, London, transport, or the transient moments we see every day but take for granted.

London Underground Symmetry & Imperfections: The Tube Mapper Project is published by The History Press.