Student’s art piece brings the past to life!

Students from I&C Academy, Irlam were delighted to see their completed artwork installed and on public display in Station Park, Irlam.

Earlier in the year HDT and local artist Rachelle Cleary, from HDT’s IC ART programme, worked with ten art and design tech students and their teachers  on a heritage art project.

To give the students some background to the art piece, Rachelle gave a short history talk about the former local Steelworks. The students were then shown an art brief and asked to produce a 3D piece that represented a ‘Changing Shift’ of workers making their way from the station to the Steelworks factory.

Rachelle was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the students, who were all excited to be involved, and said: “It was a real pleasure to work alongside the students and to see their creative talents come together to form such a fantastic finished piece. It was also lovely to share some of the district’s history with young people and to know that for them the project has brought a small piece of our heritage to life.”

The student’s enthusiasm for the project was obvious as they set to work sketching their design ideas and then using their skills and imagination to bring them to life.

Their unique finished artwork followed the brief exactly and looks wonderful on the Park. The quirky features of each of the seventeen wooden men also brings out the sense of  fun that the Steelworkers had and the many friendships that were born out of toiling side by side for hours, as part of a hard day’s work in a heavy industrial environment.

The ten students that produced the art piece are: Lyla Butterworth, Leah Dolman, Ellie Highton, Nathan Mann, Jake Curtis-Pollard, Charlotte Richardson, Rula Shukurova (not featured in the picture as unfortunately unable to attend) Ellie Skeldon, Lia Sykes and Sarah Wood. Some of the students shared their thoughts about their involvement and the finished piece:

Charlotte: “It’s been a good way to promote art and be involved in a community project.”

Leah: “It adds a local touch to the station as well as depicting the local Steelworks, which is a really important aspect of our legacy. I’m honoured to have been involved in the project.”

Nathan: “The figures look really rustic, which blends in well with the scenery.”

Sarah: “I love seeing my artwork. It was fun to make and a great experience.”

Ellie: “I’ve loved seeing our sketches come to life. We can see the local heritage through art.”

The ‘Changing Shift’ artwork stands alongside another new piece of art, a second Hobbit style house, which brings even more interest to Station Park for visitors to enjoy.

HDT wish to thank local companies Nelson Construction Ltd and Crest Scaffolding for donating the scaffolding planks used in both pieces of art and also local volunteers Mike Givens, Steve Harrison, and Steve Watson, and HDT’s Chair Neil McArthur for freely giving their time and skills to help with the projects.

Station Park is a great free outdoor location to visit and a perfect backdrop for the pieces of artwork that reflect the district’s heritage. HDT have ideas for further art pieces and hope to be able to work on these with local community groups, especially the youth of the area, as soon as the current situation improves and restrictions allow.

Posted on: 6th October 2020

Posted on: 8th October 2020