Ten William Blake inspired mosaics unveiled at Surbiton station in Kingston upon Thames: Wiliam Blake mosaics

Monday 11 Sep 2023

Ten William Blake inspired mosaics unveiled at Surbiton station in Kingston upon Thames

Region & Route:
| Southern: Wessex

Network Rail and South Western Railway (SWR) have worked alongside partners to install ten mosaics to brighten up Grade II listed Surbiton station in the south west.

Network Rail and SWR have worked with Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College (RHACC), London School of Mosaic, Surbiton Art Trail and Friends of Surbiton Station to install ten detailed mosaics on the footbridge at Surbiton station.

Claire Mann, SWR’s Managing Director, and Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, were joined by Sir Ed Davey, MP for Kingston & Surbiton and representatives from RHACC and the other partners this morning to see the mosaics, which were inspired by the works of poet and artist William Blake at Surbiton station.

The Blake Mosaics, which form part of a set of 70 mosaics created by Southbank Mosaics to commemorate Blake’s time in Lambeth between 1790 and 1800, were originally installed in the underground tunnels, streets, and walkways of Lambeth around London Waterloo station.

As part of the project, which has been led by Surbiton Art Trail who obtained the funding, the 10 mosaics have been carefully restored by RHACC’s Artist in Residence, Jo Lewis from London School of Mosaic, the successor to Southbank Mosaics.

The first set to be installed at Surbiton station, which celebrates 40 years since achieving Grade II listed status on Friday 6 October, are based on Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience poems.

 They now form part of the Surbiton Art Trail which aims to add interest and brighten up public spaces as well as connect visitors to Surbiton, local schools, and colleges within their community.

Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with the local communities who have a passion to drive improvement through the experience of customers and local residents in unique ways.

“The artwork brings a warm and welcoming feel through the Grade II listed station which welcomes hundreds of customers each day and they will certainly add a further unique characteristic to Surbiton.

“It feels even more apt that these mosaics were originally displayed in the arches near Waterloo station and have now been repurposed ensures that this special art collection keeps its connection to the railway.”

Claire Mann, South Western Railway’s managing director, said: “It’s wonderful to see these amazing artworks newly sited here at Surbiton, one of SWR’s beautiful Art Deco stations. We were very pleased to work with Richmond and Hillcroft College, the friends of the station and Surbiton Art Trail to make this happen."

Gabrielle Flint, principal of RHACC, said: “We are absolutely delighted that we’ve been able to bring these mosaics to Surbiton station, with the help of South Western Railway, Network Rail, the Friends of Surbiton Station and Surbiton Art Trail.

“The thing that I love most about the mosaics is that unlike most things displayed at stations, they don’t contain practical information, instructions or directions. They are simply there as a visual gift."

The Rt Hon Sir Ed Davey MP, member of parliament for Kingston and Surbiton, said: “Surbiton station is already one of the country’s most architecturally beautiful stations and one of the area’s most cherished buildings. I’m pleased to see the station enhanced yet further with the addition of these charming William Blake-inspired mosaics, which elegantly pay tribute to the iconic London artist and poet. Thank you to all those involved with finding them a fitting new home in Surbiton.”

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Tala Ghannam
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