Avanti West Coast working with Bolton and South Lancashire Community Rail Partnership (B&SLCRP) are commissioning a new large-scale mural for the underpass beneath the platforms at Wigan North Western Station. This is a busy thoroughfare with a high daily footfall.
Currently, there is a large blank area of wall to either side of the underpass comprised of aluminium panels painted white with a second and smaller band of red panels below. The mural will stretch along the white panels, and the band of red may remain or be re-painted another colour to Avanti’s colour specification. The width of each white panel is 109 cm and the height is 114 cm and there are approximately 45 panels in total. (See Appendix 1 pages 5 and 6) Individual panels have to be removed periodically for inspection of the walls underneath. They are fixed to the walls by small brackets above each panel. The panels offer a smooth surface to work on though they are bevelled at the edges.
The creation of a new mural will improve the subway’s appearance and bring colour and impact to these expanses of wall. This is a significant opportunity to bring local visual arts to the attention of both passengers and staff and will be a creative gateway for people arriving and departing from Wigan.
The project aims to engage local communities and stakeholders including community groups and charities, local businesses, commuters, station staff, local authority organisations such as the library, schools and colleges in the development of an artistic brief related to the history, heritage, people and places of the Wigan borough.
The mural will be produced by a suitably experienced artist, and preference will be given to artists who have or are living, working or studying in Wigan. The main artist will be supported in the development of the design by volunteers, who may be newly qualified artists or young people aspiring to a career in visual arts. The project will also provide opportunity for additional community engagement through arranged site visits to observe and document the installation.
Artists will be invited to submit a design proposal for the mural site. A short list of designs will be selected, and the winning design will be chosen by a Selection Panel comprising representatives from Avanti, B&SLCRP and the local community. The winning artist will also be expected to work on design development with a selection of local community groups through workshops organised by B&SLCRP and local community partners.
A space at the Swan and Railway Public house directly opposite the station will be available for the artist to use as a planning base.