The worlds of heritage and art are coming together in Coventry this summer for a unique series of open days at the award-winning Electric Railway Museum.
On the weekends of Saturday 29 – Sunday 30 June and Saturday 6 – Sunday 7 July, Warwickshire art collective The Edge will take up a residency amongst Electric Railway Museum’s rich collection of historical locomotives. The Edge’s residency culminates in Electric Railway Museum’s Summer Gala Weekend Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 July where, amongst other events and activities, there will be an arts and crafts fair consisting of stalls from local artists and producers. Electric Railway Museum will be open 10am – 4pm on all the dates mentioned. Admission and parking is FREE.
The Edge is a group of artists living in the Leamington Spa area, who met at Warwickshire College and Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, now part of Birmingham City University. Since graduating in Fine Art in 2002 The Edge have shown their work across Warwickshire and nationally, as well as exhibiting as individuals. The Edge come to Electric Railway Museum as part of Warwickshire Open Studios. This annual event, now in its 13th year, has grown to become the biggest exhibition of unique and original art and craft in Warwickshire, with over 300 artists and makers at 198 venues in and around Leamington Spa, Stratford upon Avon, Kenilworth, Rugby, Warwick, Nuneaton, Shipston on Stour and, for the first time in 2013, Coventry.
The Edge will be working in the grounds and on some of the trains at the open-air museum showcasing contemporary and traditional art on the theme of ‘electric’. Artworks are set to include installations, sculpture, photography, video and a train carriage transformed into a pin-hole camera. The Edge are also working on a large installation piece that will see a life-size willow train take shape in Electric Railway Museum’s Meadow area. The Edge will also be welcoming guest artists Helena Godwin and Shiam Wilcox, the latter being the Artist in Residence at Electric Railway Museum.
As well as across the weekends of Saturday 29 – Sunday 30 June and Saturday 6 – Sunday 7 July, The Edge will be displaying their art during Electric Railway Museum’s Summer Gala Weekend (Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 July), when the site will be fully open to visitors. Plus, they’ll be joined by a host of other local artists selling handmade crafts and contemporary art throughout the Summer Gala Weekend. Applications for stalls are still open and makers can contact Jane or Peterson on 024 7669 0669 to secure a place.
Members of the public will also be able to climb aboard the Class 503 and one of the Class 309s, complete with the museum display (Museum 309), a café – serving hot and cold beverages, snacks and light bites – and the Electric Railway Museum shop. Volunteers will be on-hand to explain more about Electric Railway Museum’s diverse collection, which also includes British Railways Classes 307 and 308, as well as the power car for the record-breaking Advanced Passenger Train Prototype (APT-P), on loan from the National Railway Museum. Plus, smartphone users can enhance their visit by utilising the QR codes available adjacent to most large exhibits and there’s even a puzzling trail for younger visitors.
Baginton-based Electric Railway Museum aims to promote the heritage of all electric trains in the UK through traction and rolling stock restoration, display and operation along with work in gathering historically relevant technical and photographic archives. Electric railways have a long history that is rich in both technical innovation and socio-economic impact. The work of Electric Railway Museum is entirely run by volunteers and funded by donations from the public. The Summer Gala Weekend will provide an opportunity also for you to meet the team behind the museum and learn more about future plans.
Grace Newman from The Edge said: ‘The Edge are known for creating artwork in unusual settings and are excited to be exhibiting in and around the trains at Electric Railway Museum this year. We are making site-specific artwork to the theme ‘electric’. There should be something for everyone with challenging artwork for adults and fun, interactive artwork for children.’
Warwickshire Open Studios: The Edge at Electric Railway Museum
Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June
Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July
Electric Railway Summer Gala Weekend and Art and Craft Fair
Saturday 13 and 14 July
10 am – 4 pm (all days)
All events at Electric Railway Museum, Baginton (near Coventry)
Electric Railway Museum
The Edge: www.the-edge-art.co.uk
Warwickshire Open Studios: www.warwickshireopenstudios.org