Beeching: 50 years on - art gallery exhibition
22 March - 16 June 2013 in our Art Gallery
This exhibition will premier a specially commissioned artwork by artist filmmaker Esther Johnson, and introduce the massive impact that the 1963 report Reshaping Britain's Railways had on our railway network both locally and nationally.
50 years ago, Dr Richard Beeching wrote his revolutionary report The Reshaping of British Railways. It set in motion a radical restructuring of Britain's railways that changed the face of rail transport. On the advice of his report, many smaller railway lines were closed and "Dr Beeching" became the despised face of the cuts.
The closures had a huge impact nationally but their effect was often felt locally and personally. At the time, protest groups demonstrated against the cuts in their area, and even today many people feel the loss of their local line and numerous campaigns call for lines to be reopened.
To mark the 50th anniversary of these momentous changes, we've commissioned a work by artist filmmaker Esther Johnson which provides a close-up of one of these local stories: the Waverley line, which ran between Carlisle and Edinburgh.
A selection of the pictures on display in the exhibition.
About the artist
Esther Johnson (MA Royal Collage of Art, BA University of London) takes a poetic approach to documentary and narrative through moving image, audio and photography. Johnson’s poignant portraits examine extraordinary, resonant stories that may otherwise remain hidden or ignored. Her work reflects on the effect of ‘progress’ and societal change on communities and individuals in the margins of society, and of how the universal can impact on the particular.
Johnson was awarded the 2012–15 Philip Leverhulme Prize in Performing & Visual Arts for young scholars. She is a Reader in Art & Design within Sheffield Institute of Arts at Sheffield Hallam University.
- Whatever the Weather: Selling train travel in winter
- The Art of Advertising: Posters and paintings by Royal Academy artists 1924
- Japan's First Railway: colour woodblock prints from the 1870s
- Fear and Fascination: art from the dawn of the railways
It's Quicker by Rail
4 June-6 October 2013
An exhibition of posters from ourcollection which looks at how railway companies have used speed to help sell railways as the quickest and easiest way to travel. This exhibition is part of our Mallard 75 season, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the setting of the steam locomotive world speed record.