Pioneering Species

Pioneering Species @ Tynemouth Station

rednile artists were commissioned by North Tyneside Council, Station Developments ltd and Nexus to undertake a large scale temporary public art work in Tynemouth Station. It was designed to be sited on 14 hoardings units which spanned the train platform whilst a multi million pound regeneration bid was submitted to restore the beautiful Victorian Station. The station was granted the funds in 2010 and is currently undergoing restoration. The project was embraced by the local community and developers and stayed in place for over two years and received further support from the Sponsors Club Arts and Businesses and won an award for successful partnership working.

rednile artists researched into the history of the station and took inspiration from the Victorian era when it was felt that the station was in its ‘heyday’. Pioneering Species linked art and science using the time honoured art of pinhole photography and botany and attempted to bring the station back to life using colour and large scale imagery. The results were an installation of photographic images the full length of the station platform.

Alongside the artwork development, rednile artist and visual artist Sarah Bayliss worked with two groups in the area, a group of GSCE students from the fostering service and an adult group from local allotments exploring pin hole photography. The young people visited Moorbank, a secret Botanical garden in Newcastle University situated in the heart of Newcastle. Photographs taken by the two groups were showcased at the Health and Horticulture show at the Parks Centre, North Shields in August 2009

Launch Event:

The launch of Pioneering Species artwork took place in June 2009 and included an installation of live plants and flowers that the public were invited to participated in by bringing their own flowers. The final installation was included in the ‘In Bloom’ competition in North Tyneside. Rednile also invited local college students to participate in the installation and poet Pete Mortimer to perform at the launch event.

TYNEMOUTH STATION (A poem to commemorate the Pioneering Species project)

The station is memory. The station is nostalgia
The station is escape. The station is the echo
Of chuntering trains cascading steam
The pierce of a guard’s whistle
The spilling from carriages of men in paisley jumpers
Women in flowered frocks, short-trousered children.
The station is Kiss Me Quick hats on a Summer’s day
Seaside rock, the pale-faced ticket clerks trapped
In their small framed windows.
The station is illusion.

We have grown too small for this station.
Our modern trains are dwarfed. Unused platforms
Attract only weeds. Abandoned paint pots
Sit beneath rusting girders

Nor do we have time to raise our eyes
To the glass sky, nor spot the gentle spirographs
Wrought from toughest steel
The million rivets like a Swan Hunter hull
Nor dwell on the mystery of locked doors and
sealed windows which imprison another age.

All is not lost. Some things make us pause.
A restaurant, a shop, a clinic, a café, a week-end market
All slowing down our race
To be nowhere first.

And now flowers will return to their one-time home.
They will blaze in baskets, scent the air, soothe savage hearts.
They will arrive with no thought of leaving
Quietly content to remain life-long
A brilliant silent celebration, a colouring of our lives
Flashing their kaleidoscope reminders
That we should pause, sit, be silent, enjoy moments
Not of doing, or moving or straining, but
Like the flowers, simply of being.

Peter Mortimer (June 2009)