The Friends of Surbiton Station have worked alongside South Western Railway (SWR), Network Rail and other local organisations to install ten detailed mosaics inspired by the works of poet and artist William Blake on the footbridge at Surbiton Station.
The Blake Mosaics, which form part of a set of 70 mosaics created by Southbank Mosaics to commemorate Blake’s time in Lambeth between 1790 and 1800, were originally installed in the underground tunnels, streets, and walkways of Lambeth and around London Waterloo Station.
As part of the new project, 10 mosaics have been carefully restored by Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College’s artist in residence, Jo Lewis, from London School of Mosaic, the successor to Southbank Mosaics.
The first set to be installed at Surbiton Station, which celebrates 40 years since achieving Grade II listed status on Friday 6 October, are based on Blake’s ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’ poems.
They now form part of the Surbiton Art Trail, which aims to add interest and brighten up public spaces as well as connect visitors to Surbiton, local schools, and colleges within their community.
Gabrielle Flint, Principal of Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College, said: “We are absolutely delighted that we’ve been able to bring these mosaics to Surbiton Station, with the help of South Western Railway, Network Rail, the Friends of Surbiton Station, and Surbiton Art Trail.
“The thing that I love most about the mosaics is that unlike most things displayed at stations, they don’t contain practical information, instructions, or directions. They are simply there as a visual gift.”
The Rt Hon Sir Ed Davey MP, Member of Parliament for Kingston and Surbiton, said: “Surbiton Station is already one of the country’s most architecturally beautiful stations and one of the area’s most cherished buildings. I’m pleased to see the station enhanced yet further with the addition of these charming William Blake inspired mosaics, which elegantly pay tribute to the iconic London artist and poet. Thank you to all those involved with finding them a fitting new home in Surbiton.”
Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with the local communities who have a passion to drive improvement through the experience of customers and local residents in unique ways.
“The artwork brings a warm and welcoming feel through the Grade II listed station, which welcomes hundreds of customers each day and they will certainly add a further unique characteristic to Surbiton.
“It feels even more apt that these mosaics were originally displayed in the arches near Waterloo Station and have now been repurposed ensures that this special art collection keeps its connection to the railway.”
The Friends of Surbiton Station bring together like-minded residents with a shared interest in Surbiton Station, who like to work together to help improve the station and its surrounding area. Keep up to date with future news, projects, and events from the Friends group via their Facebook page.