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New artwork brightens up Basingstoke station

The Arts Society Basingstoke has worked with South Western Railway and Reading and Basingstoke Community Rail Partnership (CRP) to create an exhibition space for young artists to display their work to the public.

For the past three months, students from the Basingstoke College of Technology have been displaying their artwork at Basingstoke Station. Queen Mary’s College are the current hosts of the space, and graduating students took a trip on 29 June to see their exhibition of Risograph prints in Waiting Rooms 1 and 4. The work displayed comes from all the creative courses offered by the college, including Fine Art, Photography, Graphics Communication, Textiles and Art, and Craft and Design.

The teams behind the project hope the artwork will enhance the travelling experience of passengers, as well as celebrate the achievements of local young people.

Gill Waller is the Chairman of the Arts Society Basingstoke and was delighted to have developed a project specifically to engage young people. She said: “The Arts Society leads a global network of local community groups which bring people together through a shared curiosity for the arts. In Basingstoke, we play our part in contributing to and preserving our artistic heritage through volunteering and grants. We have invested particularly in supporting arts projects that involve young people; after all, they are our future.”

Students from Queen Mary’s College were equally thrilled to have been involved in the project:

“It was amazing seeing my work displayed. [It has] made me more confident in my work and abilities.” – Emily Bricknell

“I am very proud of my achievements. I’m very happy that when I visit home from university it will be here in the station to see.” – Parker Brown.

“It was really surreal to see my work on display, but super rewarding!” – Sadie Juby.

“This was an awesome experience which I wasn’t expecting. This has made me more confident and prouder of my work.” – Sarah Waddington.

Lucy Lomax, Community Rail Officer at Reading and Basingstoke CRP, said: “We’re so pleased to have worked with the Arts Society and local schools on delivering this project – it has benefited so many people within the community in lots of different ways.

“Seeing their work outside of its usual environment has given the students such a huge sense of pride – now not just their parents and teachers can see it on display, but members of the public too. It’s been wonderful to see the young people inviting their families and peers into the space and bringing different members of the community to a railway station they might not otherwise visit.  

“The artwork has also beautifully enhanced the waiting rooms, making them spaces that are so much livelier and appealing to be in. Those travelling and commuting through Basingstoke have something new to explore and enjoy, and the artwork will really brighten up their journey.”

Schools and colleges in Basingstoke are invited to contact Gill Waller via tasb.chairman@gmail.com if they would like to display their students’ work.