Ensuring a colourful future for our wildlife: Network Rail unveils new artwork at Bristol Temple Meads: Artwork at Bristol Temple Meads-2

Friday 6 Oct 2023

Ensuring a colourful future for our wildlife: Network Rail unveils new artwork at Bristol Temple Meads

Region & Route:
Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western

Network Rail has revealed a new artwork at Bristol Temple Meads station, which highlights the company’s commitment to protecting wildlife and biodiverse habitats alongside the railway. 

The artwork entitled ‘ensuring a colourful future for our wildlife’ is a print of three oil paintings by Cindy Powell, an artist based in Wiltshire and an MA student at Falmouth University.  
The paintings depict icons of Bristol, including Clifton suspension bridge, hot air balloons and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the world-famous engineer who built the Great Western Railway and the SS Great Britain, a historic ship and tourist attraction in the city. 

The historical figures are shown in black and white, alongside a steam train. The wildlife is painted in vivid colour with a modern GWR train, highlighting the connections between the past, present and future, as well as the links to humans and animals and what we can do to preserve those connections.  

The artwork is the second of a series painted by Cindy, with the first – depicting a GWR train and British wildlife in a surrealist style reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland – unveiled at London Paddington in April. 

Susan Evans, Network Rail’s head of passenger strategy for Western route, said: “The railway provides a rich and diverse tapestry of habitats for biodiversity and is home to many species of plants and animals, including some that are rare or endangered. 

“We’re committed to protecting these biodiverse habitats and achieving no net loss of biodiversity on railway land by 2024, with a net gain on each route by 2035. 

“Cindy’s artwork encapsulates the joy that nature and wildlife can inspire and centres on Network Rail’s ambitious biodiversity targets, with trains, plants and animals co-existing with all the benefits that they bring to one another. Bristol is a historic city and the contrast between the past and present grabs your attention and shines a light our continued stewardship of a biodiverse railway and what we must do to protect it. 

“I hope the piece inspires passengers as they travel to and from Bristol so that we can all do our bit to look after our wild landscapes and the creatures that inhabit them.” 

Cindy Powell, who created the paintings, said: “By painting images of nature in colour and historic figures and monuments in black and white, I wanted to create a contrast between the past and the future. All the images are relevant to Bristol, including the Bristol Onion and the statue of John Cabot.  

“With the list of critically endangered animals, insects and plant species growing daily, it is vital for humans to create mutually beneficial relationships with nature. Network Rail is a prime example of a company that has taken this to heart and hopefully will inspire other companies to do the same.  

“I hope that my artwork will encourage people to reconnect with nature and help to ensure a colourful future, not only for our wildlife but ultimately for humans as well.”  

Visitors to the station can find the artwork at the northern end of platform 5. 

To find out more about Network Rail’s commitment to biodiversity, visit https://www.networkrail.co.uk/sustainability/biodiversity-on-britains-railway/  

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Emily Maiden
Network Rail

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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.

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