Close this search box.

Interactive art installation at Hamilton Station promotes positive mental health

A former train carriage transformed into an interactive art installation has been unveiled at Hamilton Central Station as part of a community project to champion positive mental health.

The large-scale artwork, ‘Hope in Hamilton’, aims to create a sense of hope, featuring uplifting visual messages collected from members of the community that can be viewed on a ticker display on platform 1.

The project was led by Rail 74 Community Rail Partnership (CRP) and supported through Avanti West Coast’s Station Community Fund, as well as funding from CrossCountry and ScotRail.

With the support of Samaritans, a series of workshops were held over eight months for members of the community including patients from NHS Beckford Lodge, individuals being supported by Lanarkshire Action for Mental Health, and Police Scotland Youth volunteers. The development process was designed to give participants a creative outlet and an opportunity to interact with others who have shared experiences.

Award-winning artist Rob Mulholland, from Arcadia Sculpture Centre in Loch Lomond, brought the participants’ ideas to life using a train carriage that was donated by rail manufacturer, Alstom.

The artwork was officially unveiled ahead of International Men’s Health Week (10 – 16 June), which is designed to shine a spotlight on male health issues and encourage men of all ages to talk about them.

Suzie McCheyne, development support at Rail 74 CRP, said: “We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has participated. We’ve been delighted to be able to create and run this project in Hamilton. We want it to give a sense of hope from the community to the community! It’s a positive way to support each other when times are tough and we’re hoping we can build on the electronic mantras so we can make lives better.”

Artist Rob Mulholland said: “It has been a fantastic and an emotional journey. Connecting with residents from Beckford Lodge, we wanted to tackle the issue of mental health by creating something meaningful and purposeful.   

“The mantras of wellbeing are the messages the community wanted to convey to anyone who found themselves at Hamilton Central Station. It was important to connect this to the railway, so the ticker displays found at stations inspired the design. Seeing the installation here at the station is brilliant. We hope it will help people for whatever reason brought them here”.

Joanna Buckley, community manager at Avanti West Coast, added: “We want to support causes that matter most to communities along our route, so we’re proud to have played a part in raising awareness and understanding of mental health in South Lanarkshire through this amazing project.

“Through our work with Samaritans, we know it’s the small things that can make a huge difference to our wellbeing and this project has given people the chance to engage in art therapy and connect with others who have a shared experience – championing positive mental health. We want everyone to feel the sense of hope the art installation symbolises, so those who are struggling can talk or seek help.”

Keep up to date with future news, projects and events from Rail 74 CRP via their website.