Back on Track 2020 artwork has been recently installed at Lancashire’s Darwen Station, with help from Community Rail Lancashire. The project took place with community artist, Karen Allerton alongside ten keen young people supported by CANW (the charity, Child Action Northwest). It ran during autumn 2020 and due to the pandemic, it has taken until now to install the artwork.
This project was designed so that it could take place whatever the lockdown restrictions, though it was hoped it would be possible for Karen to meet with the group face to face at some point, perhaps even taking a train journey too, but this wasn’t and hasn’t happened yet, but will when restrictions allow.
The purpose of Back on Track 2020 was to provide an opportunity for the young people to think about the impact the lockdown was having on their lives, both highs and the lows and explore their hopes for the remainder of the year and their future. By looking ahead positively it was hoped all would gain confidence to move forward and not lose sight of their ambitions and potential; to prevent derailment by the pandemic!
Karen Allerton put together an Art Box for each participant and CANW delivered it to their homes. It had everything in it for the sessions – inks, pens, water colours, pencils – ‘like having Christmas early’ said one of the participants to Karen!
The sessions all took place by Zoom. Karen said: “this was the first time I had ever conducted art sessions on-line. It was a learning experience for me as I hadn’t worked in this way before, but everyone involved embraced the format and as you can see from the final designs incorporating visual and word elements, they are very expressive and far exceeded what I thought would be possible through virtual sessions. I hope everyone’s ability to adapt has also inspired confidence for the future too. I just can’t wait for the chance to actually meet with the group in person and take a train journey too – soon I hope!”