Cloud by Troika at the entrance to the BA Galleries Lounges, T5

Faster Flying

The art of lounging

Where do you head to if you’re in the mood for checking out the latest creations in the modern art world? Perhaps London’s Tate Modern or the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Well if you're reading this in an airport, you could be mere footsteps away from a classic piece of contemporary art.

British Airways’ lounges are home to hundreds of pieces of modern art, from specially commissioned 3D-etched glass screens to life-size wooden horses whose heads are crowned with lamps.

The BA Collection numbers more than 1,000 pieces, including works by prominent British artists such as Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Chris Ofili.

“Art plays a significant role in British Airways lounges and the importance of this is showcased in the name ‘Galleries’,” says BA’s worldwide lounge manager Shalini Bhatia. “Our carefully selected collection provides enduring interest as many of our artists, both British and international, have a globally recognised reputation. We also work with art curators, local galleries and art schools to showcase new and emerging artists.”

Art continues to play an important part in ensuring the airline’s airport lounges are homely spaces, where customers can relax, be looked after or get work done: “Our signficant lounge refurbishment programme is continuing in earnest. The new Glasgow lounge has captured our commitment to supporting new artists by showing pieces from the Glasgow School of Art,” says Bhatia. “By the end of this year, brand-new lounges in Edinburgh and Cape Town will also feature work by local artists.”

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Here are some of the highlights that can be seen across the lounge network:

Harbour by Anne Magill
One of four paintings from British artist Anne Magill’s aptly named ‘Journeys’ series. The St. Martin’s School of Art graduate says she works to capture a feeling of those fleeting moments in life within her work.
Where Concorde Lounge, JFK Airport, New York

Wall Drawing Orange Blue by Sol LeWitt
What A dramatic image which responds to the curved wall.
Where Concorde Lounge, JFK Airport, New York

Untitled by Dan Flavin 
What Three purged and glowing aquatints by the master of American Minimalism.
Where Terraces Lounge, JFK Airport, New York

Tracer by Fiona Rae 
What A painting filled with a range of 
diverse elements.
Where Terraces Lounge, JFK Airport, New York

Oh Wise Owl - 
It’s Worth It by Tracey Emin 
What A touchingly personal message by the confessional artist.
Where Terraces Lounge, Istanbul Airport, Turkey

Show and Tell by Richard Deacon 
What A series of prints by a sculptor who won the Turner Prize.
Where Galleries Lounge, Linate Airport, Milan, Italy

Mud Drawings by Richard Long 
What A series of three forcefully executed images by a pioneer who makes art in remote landscapes.
Where Club Lounge, Chicago Airport, US; JFK airport, New York

Balzac, The Unknown Masterpiece by Callum Innes 
What The master of Scottish Minimalism who applies and removes paint from his canvases.
Where Terrace Lounge, Glasgow Airport, UK

Valium by Damien Hirst
What Dancing coloured dots inspired by pills.
Where First Lounge, Heathrow Terminal 5, London

Cloud by Troika 
What A sculpture suspended above the escalators and covered in 4,638 flip-dots.
Where Heathrow Terminal 5, London