Blackburn station celebrated the completion of the ‘Making Connections’ project by bringing together the artists, poets and many others who had been involved in this great project. The stations subway has been given a real makeover that will brighten up the area for years to come.
Utilising the transformative power of art, local arts group Arts2Heal aims to connect individuals, alleviate feelings of isolation and enhance wellbeing. For this project the group experienced the wonder of travelling by rail and sharing positive messages which they wanted to share in the artwork on display. Called ‘Journey to Connection’ the artwork uses birds in flight to show how journeys can connect us to different places. Each bird carries an inspirational message reminding us of the beauty of the world around us.
Banu Adam, Project Manager, Arts2Heal said; “This wonderful opportunity presented itself at a time when we had just resumed face-to-face workshops after COVID restrictions, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for our members. Many of our targeted individuals reside in isolation from society, so COVID posed a significant challenge for them. Participating in this project not only provided therapeutic benefits of engaging in art but also gave members a chance to be actively involved from the planning to the final stages, honing skills such as planning, problem-solving, and organising, which are essential for long-term growth and development. We hope that this art installation will serve as a source of inspiration and pride for the people of Blackburn, and a testimony to the power of creativity and connection.”
Euan Hilton, Station Manager Blackburn & East Lancashire, commented: “I am so proud of the artwork that has been installed in the subway at Blackburn. It really brightens and cheers up an area that people never paid attention to previously. This project shows that It really is important that the railways work with community groups and those providing support to others in such a positive way and I am excited to see how we can further improve what we have at Blackburn and possibly roll out other art projects locally.”
Making Connections was possible through grants secured by Community Rail Lancashire from the DfT, the Community Rail Network and Northern.