Students conduct art project on local train station

art project at train station

2 June 2017

Students studying on Salford City College’s BTEC Art and Design course have helped transform Walkden Train Station, in the heart of Salford, with a little help from renowned local artist, Mark Mennell.

Manchester based artist Mark Mennell, who has worked on numerous community art projects across the North West, used the student’s artwork and developed it into 10 metal panels which are now being displayed in the train station.

The project was introduced by train operator Northern, volunteers at Friends of Walkden Station and Salford City Council, who enlisted Salford City College and their talented students along with Mark to help transform the train station, which they say has a rich history.

Fay Flatt, Neighbourhood Development Officer at Salford City Council said, “The site is over 120 years old and having never been rebuilt, Walkden station has a rich, historical heritage. We gathered photographs from both Salford Museum and the Worsley Civic Trust, among others, to inspire ideas and inform the design we asked the students to create.

“The final work has brought high quality art into the town and for its people, and I believe that the work has made a welcome addition to the station.” – Fay Flatt

Students were asked to think about ‘travel’ when creating their designs. Not just travel based around trains, but the way people or ‘other things’ travel. They were also asked to incorporate the history of Walkden train station into their work, with Mark then choosing the designs that inspired him the most, developing them and combining the images to create the final pieces. The artwork was then laser cut out of steel and powder coated to produce the panels for display.

Nicola Worthington, Salford City College Art and Design Tutor said, “Once we’d been approached about doing the project, I got in touch with Mark and it went from there really. He came in and worked alongside the students to give a talk about the project and the work he does. He brought with him a suitcase full of old photographs and memorabilia from Salford Museum, relevant to the station, to help inspire them. 

“I always try and encourage students to work on live briefs, whether this is for a company, an artist, a designer or an organisation.  Not only does it give them experience working within the industry, and with a client, but it helps them build their social and professional skills. At the same time, they can come out of the project with a great sense of pride and achievement. – Nicola Worthington 

“This work also benefits the community by helping improve the visual appearance of the local area.

Mark Mennell the artist responsible for the final work said, “Working in partnership with the Art and Design Students from Salford City College really helped the delivery of an extremely important public art commission.

“From the start I found the students approach to this project was both focused and professional. Their ability to work as a team, even with these unfamiliar processes and with many high expectations, was truly an inspiration.” – Mark Mennell 

“As a result they have a set of completed artworks that reflect their creativity and hard work. Plus, these new pieces of art will create a much more enjoyable experience for the stations users.”

Nicola added, “The friends and family of students as well as the people of Walkden attended the opening night of the new and improved station and were delighted with the artwork. 

“The students were extremely excited to tell their parents and guardians and most of them have been to visit the artwork in location since it was installed. Overall it’s been a fantastic project and opportunity for all!” – Nicola Worthington 

If you are interested in applying for a place on the BTEC Art and Design Course at Salford City College please contact Admissions on 0161 631 5000. 

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