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Railway Station Mosaic and Art Gallery
     
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On Wednesday 10 June 2015 schoolchildren were joined by local stakeholders, funding organisations and rail industry representatives to unveil the fantastic Station Mosaic and 26 vibrant paintings now forming a permanent display at Belper Railway Station.  This was the culmination of a year long project developed by Transition Belper working with four local schools and hundreds of members of the local community. 

The 26 colourful and vibrant scenes, produced by local schoolchildren depict local places of interest including Strutt’s North Mill, Belper River Gardens, Belper town centre, local parks and play areas.   A selection of the paintings were used to inspire the design for the impressive Station Mosaic located on Platform 1 at Belper. 

Christine Gray, a local artist and member of Transition Belper worked with children from Herbert Strutt Primary School, Leaps and Bounds Nursery, St. Johns C of E Primary School and Turnditch C of E Primary School to produce the paintings.   The children’s paintings were scanned and printed onto large panels which now adorn the railings at Belper Railway Station. 

The Station Mosaic wonderfully illustrates Belper’s heritage by featuring Strutt’s North Mill, and the River Derwent set within the beautiful landscape of the Derwent Valley. The Mosaic which comprises thousands of small ceramic tiles was produced at The Belper Goes Green ECO Festival by hundreds of festival go-er’s cutting ceramic tiles and using adhesive to build the mosaic.  The Station Mosaic has been a real community project inspired by local children and produced by local people, facilitated by local artist Christine Gray.  Once completed Christine, painstakingly grouted the Station Mosaic onto a specially built frame that had been built by staff from East Midlands Trains.  The Station Mosaic and collection of children’s artwork wonderfully complement the bright and colourful station gardens which are maintained by numerous Transition Belper volunteers.  

The Story of the Belper Station Mosaic & Community Art Project
The Story of the Station Mosaic is best told using sections from ‘The Station Mosaic’ Information Board. This wonderfully tells the story of the how the mosaic developed from an initial idea to the colourful mosaic and gallery of children’s artwork. The text extracts telling the story are included as part of this submission.

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Christine Gray, a local artist and member of Transition Belper worked with local schools on this large scale art project resulting in 26 pieces of children’s artwork and a community mosaic.  

The paintings were scanned by Derbyshire County Council and a dark blue fixing border added - then printed onto 3mm Dibond (plastic aluminium composite).  In March 2015, they were installed ‘back to back’ on the station railings by Matty Maternaghan from East Midlands Trains and Alastair Morley from the Derwent Valley Line Community Rail Partnership.

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Some of the children’s pictures helped form the Station Mosaic.  The mosaic was created by the public at the Belper Goes Green ECO Festival 2014.  Transition Belper volunteers completed the missing pieces of the mosaic during summer 2014. 

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The mosaic needed to be installed after winter to ensure the grout would set and not crack, so this was planned for late March 2015.  Meanwhile, a wooden frame to mount the mosaic on was built by Matty assisted by Alastair and new SST Kevin. 

Christine and partner Andrew, a fellow artist, installed the mosaic in sections grouting it to the wooden board and grouting the gaps between all the hundreds of tiles that made up the mosaic.  Once complete the surround was painted by Matty in dark blue to match the station colours.          
                            
Cost and Funding the Mosaic and Art Project
Transition Belper have co-ordinated the production of the artwork and Station Mosaic assisted with great support from the Derwent Valley Line Community Rail Partnership and East Midlands Trains. 

Funding towards this project has been received from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), Belper Town Council, Department for Transport, East Midlands Trains and Network RailThe art project cost a total of £3,150 which was funded by the Designated Community Rail Development Fund, East Midlands Trains, Belper Town Council and Volunteer In Kind match funding (including donated materials).

David George, Chair of Transition Belper said “This is true community art crafted by the children and people of Belper to welcome rail travellers to our town and tell visitors how proud we are to live in such a wonderful place. Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved."

Some photos by Ashley Franklin. More will be added in due course

photo mosaic
mosaic 1 mosaic 2
Ashley has made a photo mosaic of two photos here The unveiling photo pictures on the railings
mosaic 3 mosaic 4 mosaic 5
     
     

Some comments from members of the public...

All the picture boards are lovely and the mosaic just a brilliant attraction – the whole station is looking very nice now.

Excellent work Chris got off the train in Belper yesterday especially to look at your work.  Well done.

Just to say how good I think Belper Station is looking, with all the schools’ artwork, and the mosaic.  The mosaic is very impressive, and the explanatory board is most useful and interesting.  They certainly brighten up the station! Thanks to you, the adopters and the artists for all your efforts.

 

 

 

 
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