Posted 17th August 2017
The advantages of journeying on a little steam train, being slowly pulled along, will never be better appreciated than between September 8 and 24, when passengers on the idyllic Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway will not only be able to spot fells, flora and fauna, but also suddenly come across amazing wildlife art in the wild.
‘The Curious Incident of the Stag and the Trainline’ experience forms part of the C-Art Open Studios event taking place across Cumbria, but is destined to become the most talked about.
At least 10 paintings by super-talented visual artist, Sarah Taylor, are being installed outdoors, just waiting to be spotted by passengers travelling on the Lake District’s oldest and longest narrow gauge, heritage railway, which travels through an incredibly diverse landscape, from coastal nature reserves to ancient woodland.
Whilst chugging along the 7-mile track from Ravenglass on the Lake District coast, to Dalegarth, in the shadow of England’s tallest mountains, passengers will, at various points en route, suddenly see huge, vibrant and incredible paintings of eccentric and multi-coloured animals. At this turn, passengers might spot a badger; at another a fox and, just around the next bend, perhaps even a red squirrel.
The habitats for Sarah’s wonderful creatures are to be found throughout the Eskdale Valley, through which the railway runs on its 40-minute journey each way. If paintings aren’t spotted travelling one way on the line, there’s always the opportunity to find them coming back. With a spotter’s leaflet for every passenger, a story behind each creature and links that enable digital interactions, this is an amazing example of ‘Art in Extraordinary Places’ – a programme creating trails of the unexpected, based around contemporary art in outdoor exhibition spaces.
Sarah Taylor’s captivating and inspiring paintings each take around 60 hours to complete, with splashing, blowing, drawing and geometric embellishments making each a must-see piece of art. Passengers at both ends of the age spectrum, and all in-between, will love them, so passengers are advised to have cameras at the ready.
Return tickets for the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway cost £13.90 for an adult, £6.95 for a child and £38.50 for a family (two adults plus two children, or one adult and three children) when bought online at www.ravenglass-railway.co.uk Slightly higher priced tickets can be bought at the ticket offices. Dogs wishing to spot amazing pieces of art can travel for £1.50.
Alternatively, people can buy some of Sarah’s work, as well as a Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway ticket, by supporting her crowdfunding page, which is making this experience possible. Head to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-curious-incident-of-the-stag-and-the-trainline to enjoy wildlife art in your home, as well as from your narrow gauge, locomotive-pulled train.