Greenway makes tracks in art world
An outdoor temporary public-art project, entitled Changing Tracks, will be launched this spring and summer in Co Mayo, Northamptonshire in the UK and Catalonia as part of the European Union’s Culture Programme 2007 to 2013.
The project invited artists from the participating countries to explore the changing use of disused railway lines. In the case of Co Mayo, artists were asked to locate their proposals on the Great Western Greenway, the former railway connecting Westport to Achill that has now been converted into a cycleway.
Artists from Ireland, Spain and the UK were asked to explore the shared economic and cultural heritage themes in relation to former railways. They were to consider the railway’s original impact on the community and the environment and then examine how the change of use has now impacted on local economies and lifestyles.
The three selected artists, one from each country, will each create three separate temporary art works each to be situated on or adjacent to disused railway lines which are now used as walking or cycle paths. These nine unique and highly ambitious artworks (three in each participating region; one artwork by each artist) will remain in situ until the end of the summer.
The artists selected are Aideen Barry (Ireland), Noah Rose (UK) and Xevi Bayona (Catalonia). All three will begin installing their work in May, and the project should be complete for viewing in all three locations from July.
For her Changing Tracks pieces, Cork-born artist Aideen Barry draws inspiration from a 19th-century publication ‘Hints for Lady Travellers’, by Lillian Campbell Davidson, which offers both useful and now-ridiculous advice for the independent female traveller. Barry will present stop-motion video projections which will be seen at unexpected intervals along each of the three cycling/walking tracks.
Salford, UK-based artist Noah Rose specialises in making work for public spaces and has worked in over 80 locations across the UK, Ireland and Europe. His artistic practice encompasses sculpture, drawing and a range of hybrid three-dimensional work including sculptural typography, architectural metalwork, street furniture and micro-architecture.
Noah’s proposal is a ‘Museum of Interconnected Events’. The ‘museums’ will be sculptural installations, incorporating some new media content, each a beautifully designed and made object. ‘Event cabinets’ will contain a variety of artifacts, that may include salvaged objects found locally, archival photographs or other documents relating to the impact of the railways on their surroundings, local species diversity and local legends or cultural traditions.
The Catalan artist and architect Xevi Bayona is known for his spectacular multi-media installations. His contribution to Changing Tracks aims to present challenging, large-scale temporary sculpture, which in some locations may include an upturned railway carriage which may enclose a living tree. In other locations there may be railway tracks installed that leave the ground creating monumental vertical installations. Audience interaction and light may also feature in the finished artwork. This art work will reference how the introduction of the railways changed both landscape and lifestyle.
In the autum, a seminar programme aimed at artists and cultural professionals will be held in each of the three participating regions. The seminars will focus on the implementation and success of the project from the artists’ and project managers’ perspectives, with additional invited guest speakers. They will be free to attend.
For more information about Changing Tracks and supporting education programmes and events, see www.changingtracks.eu.