Where Will Your Journey of Contemplation Begin?

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News, MVCRP, Public Art

An exciting new arts trail was launched on the Marston Vale Line (Bedford – Bletchley) on Thursday 24th March 2016 at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre, in partnership with BRCC’s arts development initiative, HAPPEN, and the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership.

Contemplation Seats is a series of new interactive artworks designed by local artist Sally Annett, which have been installed at every platform on the Marston Vale Line as part of the build up to the 170th birthday of the Line in November this year. Inside the train carriage further artworks and weblinks will highlight a selected ‘contemplation seat’ on each train.

Every art panel has a QR code that enables the passenger to access a bespoke website (designed by BRCC) that provides more detailed information about each artwork as well as links to information about each locality, its history and current cultural and community offers.

The images on each panel combine digital photography and etchings, the photographs have been taken by Sally Annett, and are  true depictions of the landscape & natural features, which are also referenced by or inspired by John Bunyan’s work, for example,  ‘House Beautiful (Houghton House), Mount Sinai, The Village of Morality (Ridgmont), the Wicket Gate, House of the Interpreter (St.John’s) and the Hill of Difficulty (Ampthill Hill), all of which can be seen from the train or are within a mile of their named station. These images are paired with etchings of chairs, some of which have a personal meaning to the artist and others including John Bunyan’s own chair.

Passengers are invited to send photographs of their favourite places of contemplation to the artist for posting on the Contemplation Seats website.

You can read what the Friends of Lidlington Station made of the launch event here http://www.marstonvalecommunityrail.org.uk/friends-go-to-the-contemplation-seat-launch/.

The Contemplation Seats have been funded by Arts Council England, the Designated Community Rail Development Fund and the Bedford & Luton Community Foundation with support from London Midland, Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership and Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity.

For further information please contact Sally Annett, tel. 07918 030445, e-mail annett897@btinternet.com

Jon Boswell

Jon is Chief Executive of BRCC

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