12 June 2023
A giant duck, sheep, shoe, and local sayings are just some of the elements that now adorn the walls of one of Mansfield Railway Station’s underpasses, as part of a new mural officially unveiled on Friday 9 June.
The artwork, created by street artist duo Lick of Paint, has also been added to 34 panels along the two platforms.
Working with Sutton Road Primary
The vibrant and playful artwork was designed with the help of Year 5 students from Sutton Road Primary and Nursery School, Mansfield, who were guests of honour at the celebration event.
The designs reference some of Mansfield’s history: the sheep and ball of wool are a nod to the town’s textiles industry, the shoe a reminder of Mansfield Shoe Company while the cow references the former cattle market, and the fruit is a link to the present-day market; the flora and fauna are some of those found in the Nottinghamshire area.
There are also some familiar, and not so familiar sayings.
A giant duck with the words ‘Ay up’ greets you in the underpass, while up on the platform, whimsical sayings suggested by the children include ‘Be more butterfly’, ‘Be more Mansfield’, and ‘What a day to play’.
We felt the ideas from the children added to the magic and wonder of the overall designs, creating some charm and life in these areas.
– Lick of Paint
Lick of Paint worked on site over several days to complete the mural, painting everything by hand. The artwork installed on the platform panels has been printed on specialist vinyl.
A brighter welcome
The idea to create the new artworks came about after the state of the underpass and platforms were identified as a barrier to people accessing the station and nearby areas of the town. The partnership wanted to make the space feel safer and more welcoming, as well as enabling young people to make their mark.
Karl Greenwood, Director of First Art, said:
We’re bowled over by the new artworks. The difference they’ve made has been phenomenal. The input from the students at Sutton Road Primary and Nursery School has been a key part of the project – it was so important young people were involved in helping to select the artists and shape the design. And this shines through in the finished piece.
The underpass was kept open during the painting, and many people commented on how much better it looks.
I used to walk quickly through here as I didn’t feel safe but now it’s really nice and bright.
– Comment from regular underpass user
A great partnership project
The Mansfield Railway Art Project has been funded by the Robin Hood Line Community Rail Partnership (RHLCRP), Community Rail Network, East Midlands Railway, Cross Country Trains, Nottinghamshire County Council, and Mansfield District Council with match-funding from First Art with funding from Arts Council England. First Art has also produced and managed the project in partnership with the RHLCRP, Sutton Road Primary and Nursery School, Network Rail, and Mansfield Town Football Club in the Community.
Chair of Community Rail Partnership, Cllr Duncan McGregor, said:
“It gives me great pleasure to see the project at Mansfield Station complete. The engagement with the local school children involved in the design of the artwork has been invaluable. The project would not have been possible without the strong partnership that has been created over the past two years.
“I’d personally like to thank East Midlands Railway, Cross Country Trains, Community Rail Network, Nottinghamshire County Council, First Art and Arts Council England, Mansfield District Council, and Bolsover District Council for supporting with funding to make the project a reality, I’d also like to thank First Art for coordinating the project in a professional and timely manner.”
We really enjoyed being a part of this project. It was nice to discuss ideas with the artists and to work on something creative with people in our class. It was nice to see the work we created come to life and see how the artists had used our ideas. We have not done anything like this before and it was a really good experience.
– Sutton Road Primary and Nursery School
Councillor Stuart Richardson, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Growth at Mansfield District Council, said:
“We are thrilled to see this area of the town centre revitalised with beautiful and charismatic artwork, created by Lick of Paint with help from local school children.
“It has completely transformed the space, and I hope as commuters and visitors to Mansfield walk past it on their way to the platform, they will take the time to enjoy it.”
A small exhibition of the students’ work for the project is featured in the First Art shop situated in Four Seasons Shopping Centre, Mansfield. Opening times for the exhibition will be available here soon.