I found a few pictures of murals painted with my students in the 80’s (Hurstmere School). The third and final one covered both sides of the platform in Albany Park Station, Sidcup and was commissioned by British Rail. We painted three murals in the station in all. The first was on one side of the platform (see video below).
In the third one we were joined by artist Simon Granger. Simon is currently senior lecturer in art at Norwich School of Art. Simon asked how we could make a mural which would remain interesting to commuters who would see it day after day. The solution was to use everyday images chosen at random by students from things they had at home. We hoped that this arbitary juxtaposition of everyday objects would allow commuters opportunities to idly speculate and invent different narratives as they waited for the train. We nudged the sense of an implied but unknown narrative by including enigmatic texts such as ‘and then...’, ‘next‘. So we used chance, tempered by purpose and skill to achieve a successful outcome – genuinely creative (Ken Robinson would have approved). The mural was painted in two weeks by ‘A’ Level art students as part of work experience.
There are no traces left of these murals and the station is currently plainly painted in flat neutral colours.
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The first mural we painted is shown in the video below (from morning television). This too had a very site specific narrative. The concept was that passengers would see it from a moving train, thus reversing the traditional process of watching a film, with the audience on the train moving past stationary images. So the platform pillars replicate frames in a film and the story is of a journey from London at night to Dover by day. In front of the film we painted a platform with an eye level set at 5′ 6″ so that passengers could inhabit the space. The people and details on the (painted) platform grew from our engagement with the station and the people who used it.
There was a waiting room at the end of the platform at the time of the first mural which brought the painting to an end. A couple years later this was demolished. So we went back and added a second mural completing the wall and replicating the waiting room exactly where it had been. This was done with a small team of 6th formers and included self portraits of the students and other references to their lives. All of these were done with my friend and colleague art teacher Ian Bowell who is now a lecturer in art education in New Zealand. The last mural also included girls from Blackfen School.