The Penistone Line Partnership have unveiled a series of mosaics at Barnsley Interchange.
Demonstrating how creativity can enhance the aesthetics of a station and engage the local community, the new artwork has been gratefully received by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) for display in their waiting room at Barnsley Interchange, and kindly installed free of charge by contractors ISS.
The mosaics project started several years ago, when local artist Zoe Stainton originally had the intention of installing them at Penistone Station. However, the decision was made to install them at Barnsley instead, where they could be made more accessible for a wider audience to enjoy.
Zoe studied ceramics in Cardiff before becoming a community artist, lecturer and artist in schools, inspiring other young people to explore their creativity through the medium of ceramic tiles, as well as wool felting, reclaimed wood, wire and vintage textile mill bobbins.
For the mosaic project, Zoe led workshops with local Brownies and Girl Guides groups, developing their ideas of how to bring the stirring landscapes and scenes of the Penistone area to life through art. A series of six mosaics were decided upon, each having its own dedicated team of Brownies and Guides crafting it. From the children’s drawings, designs were technically crafted using small pieces of closely set, irregular, coloured ceramic tile applied to paper, then transferred to a wooden surface prepared with adhesive.
Each mosaic piece is an anonymous fraction of a larger design, creating smaller, intricate patterns which can only be fully understood once all the pieces are in place and the viewer steps back to appreciate the artwork as a whole.
The mosaics depict the inspiring scenery of the Penistone area and its wildlife, flora and fauna, farm animals, landscapes and landmarks.
Rowena Chantler, Community Rail Officer for the Penistone Line Partnership, said: “The Brownies and Guides worked well together and were able to build their confidence in skills such as problem solving, team working, negotiation and managing a project through from their imaginations to something tangible.
“They’re always keen to get involved with local community projects such as this and found it really rewarding. They are extremely proud of their achievements, and they hope that passengers enjoy seeing them as much as they enjoyed making them. We’re looking forward to engaging with the Brownies and Guides on more projects in the future.”
The launch event on Friday 2 September was coordinated by South Yorkshire MCA Community Rail Officer Catherine Ashworth. A wide range of community representatives attended, with speeches from Councillor Robert Frost of Barnsley and Neville Shiggins, Mayor of Penistone. Refreshments were kindly provided by ArtWorks, a not-for-profit arts organisation who promote artists with learning disabilities and autism who bake as part of their ’Life Skills’ classes.
Keep up to date with all future projects and events from the Penistone Line Partnership via their website.