A striking collection of new artwork by young people, entitled ‘People and Places of Penkridge’, has been created for Penkridge station on London Midland’s Birmingham to Liverpool route.
The innovative designs, featuring photography of the Staffordshire market town and its people, were designed by five Year 12 Art and Design students at Wolgarston High School. James Bayliss, David Errington, Matthew Evans, Emily Harvey-Stephens and Harriet Murray are currently studying for a BTEC in Art and Design. The project, using double exposure photography, formed an important part of their coursework.
The research process for the project involved working with the community, including local traders, to build up a portfolio of images to inform the final designs. The new artwork comprises two large contrasting canvases, each five metres in length, featuring the message ‘Welcome to our community’. These have been installed by the London Midland Property team as a permanent display on each of the two station platforms, creating a much-improved welcome to the station and gateway to the town.
The project is a joint venture with North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership (NSCRP), which worked closely with Wolgarston High School to develop the designs, and with the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) which provided sponsorship from their Small Grants Fund.
Faye Lambert, head of community rail at London Midland, said: “This pretty town with its strong community feel was not previously obvious when passing through the station. My idea was to enable young people to learn through a project that would bring the vibrant community of Penkridge into the station in a unique and sustainable way. Congratulations to the student team for interpreting the brief perfectly; their inspiring designs superbly illustrate what is great about their local area and its residents.”
Headteacher of Wolgarston High School, Philip Tapp, said: “We are delighted to be part of the ‘People and Places of Penkridge’ community rail project. Our students are passionate and creative learners and have responded brilliantly to the challenge. It is wonderful for them to be part of something which will bring enjoyment and reflection to the local community and to thousands of rail passengers over the years to come.”
The artwork is permanently installed on both the north and south platforms at Penkridge Railway Station.