5 minute read – Network Rail launches art exhibition celebrating rail travel

Glenfinnan Viaduct – Laura Hurn

Winners of the ‘Wish I was There’  Competition are unveiled at an exhibition launched at London’s Waterloo station 

Network Rail has launched an exhibition showcasing work from the next generation of artists that celebrates the return of rail travel.

St Michael’s Mount – Leah Risby

Earlier this year, Network Rail launched a competition titled “Wish I was There”, asking art students from across the UK to create work that reflected the places they had missed travelling to during the pandemic – whether it be a town, city or beach, a shopping street or even just a pub or a park – a place that meant something special to them.

Nearly 270 images were submitted from across the country, including St Michael’s Mount (Cornwall), Lyme Regis (Dorset), Llandudno Promenade (Wales), Glenfinnan Viaduct (Scotland) and Bridlington (Yorkshire).

Llandudno Promenade – Chris Bunn

Sir Peter Hendy CBE, chair of Network Rail, said: “The standard of art submitted has been beyond exceptional and reflects how much we have all missed travelling by rail. I thank all the artists who have taken the time to submit their work that has paid homage to the places that they have missed travelling to.

“The railway has a long history of creating works of art to promote the destinations that people can travel to by train, and the art submitted completely and utterly reflects that. This art will become a part of history, documenting what has been an unprecedented time for all of us.”

Lyme Regis – Elbo Parkes

100 submissions were selected, judged by a panel that included artist Jacqueline Colley, who teaches at the Victoria and Albert Museum. They will be exhibited at major mainline stations across the country.

The railway network has been vital in keeping the country running during the pandemic, including by keeping key workers and freight on the move, and it will play a significant part in the country’s economic recovery. The industry is working hard to make sure it is safe for people to travel as restrictions are lifted.

Nothing like fresh lobster – JJ Raines

The top 20 winners are as follows: 

  • Dina Aldrich – The Norfolk Coast and beyond
  • Louise Allen – North Yorkshire coast
  • Chris Bunn – Llandudno Promenade
  • M A Chamberlain- Drumochter Pass, the highest point on the rail network
  • Mariya Darr – Sandals and the Sea
  • Esther Forse – Edinburgh
  • Laura Hurn – Glenfinnan viaduct
  • Jazz Lawrence – Canterbury Downs
  • Nataliia Marchuk – Chester Sunset
  • Emma McMillan – Edinburgh Castle
  • Amandine Mondion – London is my cup of tea
  • Elbo Parkes – Lyme Regis
  • Claudia Elestabeta Prospescu – By the sea in Suffolk
  • JJ Raines – Nothing like fresh lobster
  • Shakiba Raiki – Welcome back to Chinatown
  • Leah Risby – St Michael’s Mount
  • Andrea Stables – The Lakes
  • Ase Vikse – Dover
  • Catlin Whitaker – The Tyne Bridge
  • Abi Winter – The town of Britain

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