London Underground Symmetry and Imperfections: The Tube Mapper Project by Luke Agbaimoni

I’ve been a bit quiet the last week or so on the blogging front as I’ve found settling to a book eluded me whilst my mind was elsewhere after some challenging news. However, London Underground Symmetry and Imperfections: The Tube Mapper Project was just what I needed to distract me and I would like to extend my enormous thanks to Luke Agbaimoni for ensuring a copy came my way.

Published by The History Press on 5th January 2023, London Underground Symmetry and Imperfections: The Tube Mapper Project is available for purchase through the links here.

London Underground Symmetry and Imperfections: The Tube Mapper Project

There are currently 272 London Underground, 113 Overground and 45 Docklands Light Railway stations. Luke Agbaimoni has been slowly attempting to capture visual moments at each one.

When we see a symmetrical image, it soothes us. It feels as if a puzzle has been completed in front of our eyes. In his first book, The Tube Mapper Project: Capturing Moments on the London Underground, Luke Agbaimoni captured themes such as light, reflections, tunnels and escalators, and documented how the London Underground is part of our identity, a network of shared experiences and visual memories. This follow-up project sees Luke delve into his obsession with symmetry, seeking out stunning and powerful examples across the network in his quest to find beauty in the seemingly mundane. London Underground Symmetry & Imperfections considers such questions as what symmetry means and how to find it in your daily commute, and also revels in the design of the newly opened Elizabeth line.

My Review of London Underground Symmetry and Imperfections: The Tube Mapper Project

A photographic journey into the London Underground. 

Whenever I visit London I view heading into the underground system as a kind of purgatory to be endured for as brief a time as is humanly possible. It’s a place of grime, ugliness, heat and chaos. 

How wrong could I be? Luke Agbaimoni looks at the world of the London Underground with a fresh eye that provides a completely different perspective and enthuses those looking at his photographs to be more aware and more perceptive themselves. What he does in London Underground Symmetry and Imperfections, the second book in the The Mapper Project, is to find beauty and interest and present it in a captivating book.

I must comment on the physical attributes of London Underground Symmetry and Imperfections, because it is a wonderful book. The hard cover is robust and weighty and the thick quality paper within gives a feeling of luxury that would make this a super present for a keen photographer or anyone interested in trains of the history of London’s Tube system. The images are so well composed and because they are frequently unexpected, they stand scrutiny many times over. This is a book that can be enjoyed on many levels.

I was expecting a visual treat, but hadn’t anticipated the commentary from Luke Agbaimoni or the frequent poetic contributions from a wide range of others. These aspects hugely increased my enjoyment as I gleaned an insight into how and why the photos were taken, into symmetry itself and into the ways such images can inspire other creative processes. London Underground Symmetry and Imperfections has certainly inspired me to look more attentively at the world around me and I can envisage the images sparking other projects and writing for those picking up the book.

If you’re interested in design, history, geography, London, engineering, photography, creativity, poetry – I could go on – then London Underground Symmetry and Imperfections is the book for you. I found it fascinating, inspiring and, actually, somewhat humbling as it made me aware of my own laziness in contemplating the world around me. Luke Agbaimoni’s sensitive and talented eye means the book would make a great gift. I really enjoyed this one.

About Luke Agbaimoni

Luke Agbaimoni has an arts background with a degree in Graphic Design. He started his career as a web designer in London’s Docklands, where he began taking photos. In 2010 he entered and won a photography competition run by TFL, the first prize being what would become his first serious camera, and soon embarked upon an ambitious project to map moments on the Underground, setting up the accompanying website tubemapper.com. He lives in London.

For more information, follow Luke on Twitter @tubemapper, find him on Instagram and Facebook or visit the Tube Mapper website.

10 thoughts on “London Underground Symmetry and Imperfections: The Tube Mapper Project by Luke Agbaimoni

  1. Glad to hear this one was a suitable distraction for you Linda and that it opens eyes to something more than the purgatory often envisaged on entering the underground.

    I love the story of how the photographer got his break, winning the award and his first serious camera, and that he chose to create art from such a well frequented aspect of London life. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find the London Underground fascinating. All that history, the immense achievement of the Victorian engineers designing and creating it. And yes, I do find it a bit of a trial too on a crowded hot carriage!

    Liked by 1 person

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