SOUTHEASTERN has called upon local artists to create an engaging and inspiring piece of work for Tunbridge Wells railway station after the original platform murals depicting the town in its Georgian heyday were destroyed.
The operator has set aside a £10,000 budget for the project after it came under fire for disposing of the murals on Platform 2 in August without any prior notice or consultation.
In a bid to make amends, they have now partnered with local stakeholders, including the Tunbridge Wells Town Forum, Refresh Tunbridge Wells, Royal Tunbridge Wells Together and passengers to commission the artwork.
They are seeking an artist, or art group, to design, project manage and deliver an original high-quality art feature to greet visitors on Platform 2, which is where trains from London usually stop.
Preference will be given to an artist who has experience of working with, and involving, the local community in projects. It is hoped the work will be in place by the end of March.
In addition to this, Brian Barnes – one of the artists behind the original murals, painted in 1989 – has been commissioned to provide a piece of work next to this.
It will refer to the original mural and show landmarks of Tunbridge Wells.
Southeastern Managing Director David Statham said: “Our railway stations are at the heart of the communities they serve, acting as a gateway to travel for hundreds of thousands of people every day.
“It is great to be able to work with the local community in Tunbridge Wells to provide an inspiring and engaging work of art for our passengers to see when they use Platform 2 at the station.
“I am also very pleased that we have commissioned Brian Barnes to provide a work next to this. This is very good news.”
Michael Holman, Chair of Refresh Tunbridge Wells, added: “We are really excited to be working with Southeastern and others in the local community to select an artist for this work.
“We are looking forward to being involved in commissioning this significant piece of art for Platform 2 at Tunbridge Wells station.”
The deadline for applications from artists is January 13, 2017. For more details, and to find out how to apply for the commission, please visit https://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/about-us/our-community