Published on : Friday, September 9, 2016
Pictures drawn by children at a primary school in Walthamstow add a splash of colour to hoardings around the railway station at Walthamstow Queens Road, where work is taking place to electrify the railway.
Children from Mission Grove primary school, Exmouth Road, took part in an art competition set by Network Rail with the theme of playing outside. The theme was chosen as the electrification of the railway, which runs right by the school, will improve the air quality in their playground. Books were presented to the winning classes at the school assembly todayand staff working on the project gave a presentation on railway safety.
Many of the classes at the school had looked at the artwork of Romero Britto, a Brazilian artist, in the lead up to the Olympic Games in Rio, and decided to use his bright, bold style for the hoardings. Britto’s work is renowned for being vibrant, happy and colourful and the children thought this style would be ideal for brightening up the hoardings and cheer people up on the way to and from work and school.
To link it to the competition theme of playing out, the children discussed the National Trust’s list of ’01 Things to do Before You Are 11′ and each thought of something they did outside, to inspire their images. Then, just like Romero Britto, they split their background and decorated it with different patterns, bright colours and bold black lines using marker pens.
Network Rail is carrying out work to electrify the route that runs from Gospel Oak in west London to Barking in the east as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan. From 2018 new four-car electric trains will provide double the current capacity, carrying twice as many people, to meet growing demand and ease congestion. The switch from diesel to electric trains will improve air quality for railway neighbours, including Mission Grove Primary School. The railway line is currently closed while the work is being carried out.
Network Rail has worked closely with the school since the project began. A small site compound and the projects largest section of work is just outside the school gates.
Tim Galvani, Network Rail’s senior project manager, said: “Electrifying the railway will improve the air quality around the school, benefitting both staff and children. We have been working closely with them since we started work and today provided a great opportunity to thank the children for their beautiful artwork and talk to them about staying safe when using the railway, especially when it is electrified.”
Deborah Harding, art teacher at Mission Grove Primary School said: “All the children got really involved in this project and were very confident in their artwork, using Romero Britto’s bright, bold style. They’ve done a great job at brightening up the area around the work site.”