Monday 22 Feb 2021
Community art scheme launched to tackle graffiti on the railway
Network Rail has teamed up with Severnside Community Rail Partnership to commission five local artists and artist groups to transform the graffiti underneath Fox Park viaduct on Stapleton Road in Easton, Bristol.
Network Rail and Severnside Community Rail Partnership with the support of the Community Rail Network, are sponsoring the project including paying the artists, providing the paint and materials and safety equipment.
It is hoped that covering up the old graffiti and replacing it with new, vibrant artwork, will improve the look and feel of the area.
Preparatory work starts today (Monday 22 February) with the erection of the scaffolding towers, followed by the prepping and priming of the walls later this week. The artists will start painting their artwork on Monday 1 March which will take around two weeks to complete.
The project follows a similar community rail art scheme that was supported by Bristol City Council last September, which involved local artists improving the appearance of Stapleton Road station by covering up unsolicited graffiti with a large mural painting.
This is the latest example of a wider Network Rail initiative known as Project Sprint that is tackling graffiti hot spots on the railway across the south west, ensuring the condition and appearance of the railway is graffiti-free and well maintained for generations to come.
Steve Melanophy, Network Rail’s community safety manager, said: “It’s really great to see members of the local community coming together to produce some fantastic artwork to improve the look of the local area. Network Rail have worked alongside Severnside Community Rail Partnership on several projects including the Stapleton Road art murals that were produced last September by local artist group Peace of Art, Anne Higgie and Mary Reynolds.
“We want Bristol’s railway infrastructure to be a clean and welcoming environment for our passengers and local residents living alongside the railway. We are hoping that this new artwork will inspire people and continue to do so for years to come.”
Heather Cullimore, Severnside Community Rail Partnership’s partnership manager, said: “It is very exciting to extend the new community artwork at Stapleton Road station by commissioning a set of murals designed to improve the aesthetics of structures at nearby Fox Park.
“Local arts collective Peace of Art and Anna Higgie are involved with both schemes, and four more artists- Silent Hobo, Rob & Sophie Wheeler of Graft, Dave Baine and Zoe Power will be working hard to complete their contribution over the next three weeks. Each of these artists has a connection with Easton and their designs are reflective of the district’s vibrancy and diversity.”
Ruth Pickersgill, Bristol City Council’s councillor for Easton Ward, said: “Easton is proud to have a diverse community with a wealth of creativity, and I am really excited that some of our local artists will be able to display their work and improve our local environment at the same time through this project.
“The Council has been really pleased to be able to fund Severnside Community Partnership to make a range of improvements to our local station at Stapleton Rd and its surroundings, making it safer and more accessible, but also working with local artists to showcase their innovative artwork.”
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.