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East Somerset Railway is just the ticket

Inch by IN:CH is bringing contemporary art out of the gallery and into the communal areas of our everyday lives. Forming a portable touring exhibition, 11 artists will each present contemporary work in a travel case.

One of the exhibition venues, East Somerset Railway, dates back to 1855. The heritage Brunel steam railway station was part of the Strawberry line, carrying both passengers and rock from local quarries.

IN:CH artist Fiona Campbell: ‘Our aim is to bring art to people who don’t normally experience it. The locations we’ve chosen are unexpected venues. We plan to offer a unique, intriguing exhibition. As a Cranmore resident, I’m keen for the project to benefit locals as well as visitors from afar.’

‘We are really looking forward to hosting the Inch by IN:CH exhibition here at the ESR in 2021. We will have our newly refurbished museum and nostalgic waiting room open by then too, so it will be a great visit for people to look forward to after lockdown.’

Elaine Lavender, Commercial Officer, East Somerset Railway

It is connected to the arts through renowned wildlife artist David Shepherd. His love of steam trains brought him to East Somerset Railway (ESR) where he painted them. When IN:CH artist Fiona Campbell moved to Cranmore 22 years ago there was a special gallery for his work at ESR, which has now moved. In fact, Fiona won a David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation 3D prize in 2009. A popular venue for families and train enthusiasts, the light, steam, tracks, shadows, sounds and smells conjure imaginings of past travel. It is an evocative and meaningful setting for art about transportation of ideas.

The project is seeking funding to enable it to be the best it can be. Funds will help offer free community engagement events and enable the project to tour to multiple venues. Activities will include writing, painting and sculpture workshops, theatrical, sound and distanced performances, participatory happenings, artist talks and demonstrations to bring the work to life and provoke debate.

The project has already achieved donations from private individuals and organisations, and secured strong partnerships with East Somerset Railway, Fringe Arts Bath, Ian McGinn, and Somerset Art Works.

Forming a portable touring exhibition, the artists will each present contemporary work in a travel case. Through these small-scale works, ideas will be shared and transported from one place to the next.

At each location artists will engage with the audience and, developing from the themes and works in the show, workshops, talks and performances will be arranged, depending on COVID19 restrictions.

Inch by IN:CH will tour a wide range of venues across the South West, starting at Fringe Arts Bath (28 May to 13 June) and ending at Somerset Open Studios, (18 September to 3 October).

For further information visit: http://www.inchbyinch.uk, Instagram: @inchbyinchuk, Twitter: @inchbyINCH10.

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