Rail passengers travelling on two popular routes from Bristol Temple Meads – the lines to Taunton and to Weymouth have been involved in an exciting art project involving artists Bronwen Bradshaw, Jenni Dutton, and Leo Saunders. National Express Group train company, Wessex Trains and SAW commissioned the three visual artists to involve passengers in creating artwork relating to their train journeys.
- Bronwen Bradshaw
- Jenni Dutton
- Leo Saunders
‘I love this line’ by Bronwen Bradshaw
Bronwen Bradshaw is a Somerset based artist, yet journeys of all kinds feature in her work, and she is especially interested in “off the beaten track” train journeys. In October and November people travelling on Wessex Trains between Westbury and Weymouth were invited to record their journey in picture or words. Bronwen also produced her own drawings and video recordings of the journey: which formed the basis of her final artwork. She has created a portrait of the line in sketches, words and video stills, which s he hopes gives a real flavour of this fascinating route and the people who live, work, or travel along it. As Bronwen said with real feeling ‘I love this line’.
Click the link below to watch the film.
‘Embarrassment of riches’ by Jenni Dutton
Jenni Dutton has investigated the contents of abandoned luggage found on Wessex Trains revealing the dilemma around issues of privacy, voyeurism, security and identity stereotyping. She has constructed two assemblages from the contents, revealing and yet concealing personal items and the identity of the owner. Jenni also invited friends to pack a bag for a ‘journey’ that was subsequently x-rayed at the Musgrove Park Hospital and recorded train journey sounds and public announcements about unattended luggage and reminding passengers to take their luggage with them from the train. She will be making a sound piece to add another dimension to the project. Jenni said ‘I have invited the audience to participate by questioning the issues around privacy, security and identity stereotyping and reflecting on the contents of our own luggage, how much could it reveal about ourselves and the intimacies in our lives’.
‘Trains of thought’ by Leo Saunders
Leo Saunders developed a stream of images and ‘thoughts’ captured on public train journeys between Bristol and Taunton gathered and incorporated into artworks. Using portable media as a foundation to work from, the ‘back-drop’ for the artworks created using a digital camera, mobile phone (film and stills), capturing images, sounds and landscapes. These pieces are used in their own right and worked into further, using paint and ink and digital manipulation. Many of which are posted online and accessible to download and print. Leo suggests ‘This ‘train of thought’ happens with everyone. You can see passengers lost in thought, each with their own unique and individual life and system of memories’.
This also involved pupils from Westover Green School, Bridgwater who travelled by Wessex Trains from Bridgwater to Taunton to see an exhibition of paintings. The artists and children worked on a series of drawings inspired by the journeys. The children’s work has been the inspiration for an installation at Bridgwater railway station by Leo Saunders. The school project was instigated in partnership with Bridgwater Art Centre.
Exhibition of the artists work was seen at Black Swan Arts for SAW 06.
This project was funded by Wessex Trains, Arts Council England and Arts & Business.