Hidden Station – Severnside CRP

Concept and aims

Recognising that the walls around Bridgwater Station would benefit from some new artwork, Seed Sedgemoor and Severnside CRP came together to bring about an exciting re-fresh.

The organisations had worked together previously on Seed’s ‘What if?’ project, which saw community co-created images and poetry displayed in public advertising spaces.

What happened

The project began by artists David McMillan and Jayde Perkin meeting with users of Bridgwater Station to ask about the kinds of arts projects they might like to see at the station.

“People generally said the same thing” explains director of Seed Scott O’Hara. “While they liked the idea of there being some creative element at the station, their usual way of spending the time at the station was on their phones. We saw an opportunity to bring those two ideas together and create something that could be enjoyed via a smart phone or other device.”

Artists David and Jayde then created and illustrated a series of stories celebrating people’s connection to the station, and Bristol based Zubr Curio created augmented reality filters, enabling visitors to bring them to life using their own smart devices.

Results

With the support of a range of funders including Arts Council England, the National Lottery and Community Rail Network, the exhibition was launched on Platform 2 of Bridgwater Station by the Mayor of Bridgwater on Friday 14 July, and will run through to the end of March 2024.

Faye Keane, Community Development Officer at Severnside CRP, said: “This is our first venture using augmented reality and we are so impressed with the playful way it allows people to engage with Bridgwater Station.

“This ambitious exhibition creatively shares stories from the community to other local residents and passengers, creating a deeper connection to the station and enhancing the value it has for everyone passing through.”

Paul Webster, Support and Development Manager at Community Rail Network, said: “Railway stations have a long history of being more than just places to catch a train, they are also places where people meet and connect into the lives of local communities too.

“We are pleased and excited to have been able to contribute funding towards this creative and innovative art project which has worked with that community to tell and share their hidden stories about Bridgwater’s elegant station with a much wider audience, connecting the present with the past and the community with its railway.”