Changing Tracks

European funded project

2014

Having taken place in two other countries, Spain Torosa- Southern Catalonian and West Cost Ireland in County Mayo. The three artist reach and exhibits end there  project in Northampton.

Specifically focusing on the value of the Nene river. This European project was one of twelve commissioned projects to go forth by the European Arts Funding. By the end of the project over twenty organisations had taken part.

The Artists include:

  • Visual Irish artist Aideen Barry , whose work meditates on the mysteries and metaphysics which govern her interest. Producing several site specific time laps in all three countries.

  •  Landscape architect and artist representing Spain Xevi Bayona. Recreating structures taken from the railway lines and train carriages.

  •  British artist Noah Rose who specialises in making site-specific work for public spaces, seeking out the invisible threads that bring meaning to a place.   

 

Changing Tracks was a project used to justify what makes each individual area both individual and yet connected with in Europe. Hence the project is called Changing Tracks , focusing on the cultural importance around the railway lines and rivers in each countries.

The Nene Valley is also home to the former Northampton to Peterborough railway line, which opened in 1845 and was originally intended for freight, transporting predominantly iron ore, aggregates and also livestock / cattle to local and London markets.  A passenger service was soon also established and continued to operate for over one hundred years until the line was axed as part of the controversial Beeching Cuts.  The line was closed completely in 1972.

CHANGING TRACKS will therefore commemorate 50th anniversary of the closure of the line to passengers.

Today there is very little visible evidence remaining of this former railway line, with signal boxes, level crossings, platforms, station houses and physical track remains now all largely removed.  Glimpses of this lost heritage can still be found in parts of the Nene Valley however if sufficient effort is taken to look.

Link to the projects website: http://changingtracks.eu/art-locations/nene-valley-uk/

Rose porject revolved around the idea of contrsting four individual cabinets called the Museum of Interconnected Events’, where by they would be set in the four different locations.

As each cabinet had to hold a growth in clutural and historical significance to Norhtampton, remenising the hidden paths of the railway station.

The issues and themes we were looking into for inspiration were;

  • Migration and exile

  • Language and Cultural Identity

  • Hidden History

  • Transform of raw materials

  • Transport, effecting lives and trains

 

First week was based on building research and materials from various local locations. Observing what we understand and chose to sieve out from Northamptonshires cultural and historical events. It was important not to reproduce history and archives found but to recreate history in the present.

Places visited:

 

  • Rusdon railway station. Identifying artefacts and history about the railway lines. How beneficial were they and why they are not there anymore.

  • Rusden Shoes trade factory. Given a tour around the factory, looking at materials used and the systematic ways of working a factory.

  • Tanning leather production- Park campus. Observing the layering of the animals skin in order to make leather

  • Stanwick country park. Identifying the remains of the tracks and talking to a group of volunteers about the area.

  • Irchster Country Park. Irthlinbourough was known for its iron stone mining. 

 

Given the matirials we had collected throughtout our visits to these places, we started to find ways in assembeling them on each side of the cabinets. 

With discussons made with Noah Rose, it was dicised what matirials would go on each cabinet.

Leather on one, ironstone on the other, iron springs and Lime stone and cork. Finding the matirlas to go on the cabinets wasn’t the hardest bit. It was the method  of attachments that was the hardest to resolve. Nailes were used for the attacting the leather as they also related to the prosses in making a shoe. When observing the materials we had collected from the Rusden transport museum, these were very much suited for the effect Rose wanted to create on the exterior of the cabinets.The iron screws has to passed through wooden poles, cut into certain measurements and then stuck onto the cabinet. 

Closing Seminar for changing tracks

Held on the 19th of November 2014 at the university of Northampton all the artists and organisers were able to get together for a project evaluation. (See separate sheet for the days programme.)

The aim of this project was not only to research archives about Northamptonshire but also to attract visitors to these Country parks and raise awareness of what was and what is now.

The people in charge of the country parks commented on how this project brought new visitors to these areas allowing conversation and debates about the work and what it stands. This allowed the word of mouth to spread even more than the other promotional methods. Equally with websites, posters and social media networks the Rusben Transport museum gained a lot of recognition that was once lost.

 Concluding with the fact that the initial aim was achieved. It was surprising to not that more than 40 percent of the people observing this site specific pieces were in actual fact taken by surprise, having no knowledge about art or the project. Dealing with visitors that wouldn’t chose to go to an art gallery, Changing Tracks managed to gain the attention of the community for the community. 

© 2019 by FLAVIA TERZIAN.

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