Photo gallery: Norwich underpass given new lease of life

Art and design students from Norfolk Adult Education courses have transformed the appearance of the St. Stephen’s underpass with an exhibition of their work.
Photo by Simon Finlay. Art and design students from Norfolk Adult Education courses have transformed the appearance of the St. Stephen’s underpass with an exhibition of their work. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
8:56 AM

The daily walk to work will be a little brighter for pedestrians who use a city underpass, thanks to art and design students.

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The graffiti-ridden St Stephen’s underpass has been given a new lease of life and turned into an impromptu art gallery by the students from Norfolk Adult Education courses.

Students and tutors worked together to create the series of vibrant art work posters to paste up on the existing display boards at the underpass, which is underneath the roundabout where St Stephen’s Road meets St Stephen’s Street, Queen’s Road and Chapel Field Road.

The posters feature a variety of images including illustration, photography and sculpture, from small scale monochrome patterns to large graphic and colourful images.

Presenting work to the public on such a large scale is a new opportunity for the art and design students and forms a large part of the students’ work experience programme.

Course tutor Nicola Naismith said the project was about teaching them to prepare for the world of work by developing their skills in team working, compiling publicity material and asking for support in the form of sponsorship in addition to creating the artwork.

She said: “This is a great opportunity for the students to develop their experience of working on a live project in addition to their Art and Design qualifications.”

Art Foundation student Olivia Smith, 19, from Aylsham Road, produced an intricate pattern by taking graphite rubbings of silver spoons through fabric and then using photo software to create a repeating pattern.

She said: “Usually our work is kept very much in sketch books and only seen by other students or tutors, so to put it in public is a nice change.

“It does mean that people you don’t know are judging your work and have to look at it every day when they walk through.”

Callum Painter, 19, from Ealrham, used a series of images from his photographic work.

He said: “If your work is in a gallery then you only get one audience. Here, because it is a public space it is seen by any people who walk through, even those who don’t normally like art and that’s quite exciting.”

Students who took part were are studying Level 3 & 4 Diploma in Foundation Studies Art, Design & Media and BTEC Level 2 Art & Design Diploma at Wensum Lodge.

The project has been supported by Norfolk County Council, Norfolk Adult Education, Norwich City Council, Hussey Knights, Breckland Print and interprint.

Margaret Wilkinson, cabinet member for communities at Norfolk County Council, said: “This is a brilliant way for the students to showcase their work to the public. I would like to congratulate all the young people involved in this project, their talents have served to improve their community and help to make this gateway into Norwich a brighter and more cheerful place.”

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