South Tyneside Metro stations mark 40th anniversary with special artwork
The artwork has been produced through a project delivered by The Cultural Spring, working with County Durham artist Laura Brenchley and a mix of local community groups. The project was a partnership with Metro’s operator, Nexus, and was funded by Arts Council England, as part of the big Metro Takeover project marking 40 years of the service.
The artwork is in the form of large collages made up of individual tiles created by members of the community groups, and can be seen in Hebburn, Chichester and Bede stations.
Groups and schools who took part in the project included Hospitality and Hope’s Wellbeing Hub, Hebburn Sea Cadets, Lord Blyton Primary School, Monkton Academy, groups from Bilton Hall Community Trust and NAAFI Break South Tyneside, an organisation run for veterans by veterans.
The Cultural Spring’s Project Director, Emma Horsman, said: “Our Metro 40 project was a lovely one to work on with local community groups, and I think the results will be enjoyed by Metro passengers for years to come.
Artist Laura Brenchley asked people to think about what the Metro meant to them and their memories of the service.
Laura said: “I’m really, really, happy with the end result and excited that something so great has been created using everyday materials. What has been particularly powerful
about the project has been the stories behind so many of the tiles – and how proud everyone is of their own contributions and the final collages.”
Alison Collins, a teacher at Lord Blyton, led the school’s work on the project: “There were about 20 children from Years 5 and 6 involved in the project and they loved working on it – learning more about the area in which they live as well as learning new artistic techniques.
“They’ve loved seeing their work in the flesh too.”
The Metro 40 Takeover saw new life brought to the system through dance, song, music and visual arts projects, involving major regional arts organisations including Sunderland Culture, Dance City and The Cultural Spring.