Railway-inspired artwork unveiled in East Northants

Xevi Bayona's installation at Stanwick Lakes
Xevi Bayona's installation at Stanwick Lakes

Anyone wanting to let off steam should head to see three pieces of contemporary art tracking the history of the railways.

The installations are part of the Changing Tracks project, which has brought art inspired by railway heritage to Spain, Ireland and the UK.

Artists Aideen Barry and Noah Rose next to Xevi Bayona and his installation at Stanwick Lakes

Artists Aideen Barry and Noah Rose next to Xevi Bayona and his installation at Stanwick Lakes

Artists from the three countries have created pieces of art, including a 10 metre high piece which was unveiled at Stanwick Lakes today.

The installations are designed to explore the changing use of disused railway lines and reveal the hidden heritage, industry and local stories associated with the former railway lines.

A number of themes are reflected in the artworks in the Nene Valley in the county, including the effect on the local communities of the Beeching Cuts 50 years ago and the impact of HS2, which is planned to go through the south of the county.

Graham Callister, cultural policy and planning manager for Northamptonshire County Council, said: “Changing Tracks has brought something brand new to the Northamptonshire countryside that can be enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and families alike.

Artist Aideen Barry's installation at Rushden Station

Artist Aideen Barry's installation at Rushden Station

“The project has bridged communities in three countries and celebrated the legacy of our Victorian railways to the present day.

“We hope visitors will make tracks to see the project this summer.”

The series of public artworks are located on or adjacent to disused railway lines which are now used as walking or cycle paths, and will be on show until mid-November.

Installations are available to see at Stanwick Lakes, Rushden Train Station and in the Goods Shed opposite, as well as at Irchester Country Park.

Summer Leys Nature Reserve near Great Doddington is also involved in the project.

Heather Ball, Nene Valley project manager at the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, said: “We’re delighted that our nature reserves have been identified by leading European artists as exhibition spaces for such a fantastic project and we’re looking forward to seeing the final installations.

“I’m sure that the temporary artworks will make a wonderful addition to the Nene Valley over the summer and will be enjoyed by many visitors including walkers, cyclists, families, fishers and local community groups.”

These unique and highly ambitious artworks will remain in place until early November.

The project aims to engage with a wide range of leisure and recreational users such as walkers, cyclists and families, and community groups including heritage, schools, colleges and local tourism businesses.

For more information on the Changing Tracks project go to www.changingtracks.eu.