Shoreham Port has been working with young Concordia volunteers and a community artist in their Visitor Centre this week to create a community artwork in conjunction with Sussex Community Rail Partnership, who aim to connect railway stations with their local communities. The artwork will be installed in Southwick Railway Station’s underpass tunnel by Pilbeam Construction in the coming weeks to spruce up the station and to celebrate the history and future of the Port, which is at the heart of the local community.
The volunteers, all aged 17 years and under, volunteered for the project as part of their National Citizen Service (NCS) programme organised by the Concordia charity, an NCS local delivery partner and registered charity that promote voluntary work both nationally and globally.
Fiona Callender, Head of Volunteering at Concordia commented “This is the second arts project we have worked on with Shoreham Port and Sussex Community Rail Partnership, and we are delighted with how it has evolved. Our volunteers have continued to build a variety of life skills throughout their NCS programme and their confidence has clearly grown this week as they have nurtured their creativity. The community artwork has not only allowed our young volunteers to learn about their local Port, but to also contribute to its legacy.”
Over 30 local young volunteers printed 144 Port-themed tiles through a series of workshops run by local Consultant & Artist Educator, Charlotte Cranidge. The tiles take inspiration from Delft tiles, created using a Chinagraph technique - which involves mono printing on to tissue paper which is then applied on to a tile and then vanished. The young volunteers enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the Port and access to copies of rarely seen historical photos from the Port’s archive. The volunteers also spent a day brightening up the station tunnel with a deep-clean and paint, ensuring that it is ready for the installation of the tiles.
Emily Kenneally, Communications Manager at Shoreham Port commented “We are keen to teach young people about the importance of the maritime sector and to share the many exciting projects, such as our new environmental initiatives, currently underway at the Port. It has been excellent working in conjunction with the volunteers this week and we hope that the artwork will have a long-lasting impact for those who commute through Southwick Railway Station everyday – perhaps even giving them a chance to stop and take a moment to discover another aspect of their dynamic local port.”
Emily continued “The artwork has exceeded all of our expectations and we have been extremely impressed by the young volunteer’s dedication and hard work – a very well done to everyone involved! A special thanks must also go to local firm Pilbeam Construction ltd and Sussex Signs who provided us with the tiles and who will be installing the artwork and plaque at Southwick railway station very soon – follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more details in the coming weeks!”
One of the Concordia volunteers added “It’s really cool to see all of the tiles together and to work on something that will be up in the station for a long time. I enjoyed working with my group and looking through the historical images of the Port in their archive for inspiration.”
Charlotte Cranidge, artist and workshop facilitator commented “It’s been fantastic to work with local young people and see their confidence grow over the week as they challenge their preconceptions about art. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the groups progressing through each stage of the artwork and realising that they are contributing to something bigger while learning that creativity is accessible to everyone - anyone can create art!”
Rowena Tyler, Line officer from Sussex CRP added “This project has been a wonderful collaboration of various partners, organisations and volunteers. The station environment has been enhanced with the added benefit of giving visitors and local customers an opportunity to learn more about the heritage and culture of the area through looking at the tiles. We are delighted that station partners, Shoreham Port suggested this project. And to be able to achieve it almost a year after the new CRP was launched is a real bonus!”