Bristol is a place of iconic views, and talented artists capturing those scenes. It’s also a hub, with buses, trains and boats (not to mention a scary number of bicycles), ebbing in and out of the city almost in rhythm with its tidal river Avon.
Best known for her atmospheric pastel depictions of Clifton Suspension Bridge and accompanying balloons, Linda Alvis is well aware of these flowing energies. Indeed, she recently had her work showcased as part of an exhibition welcoming commuters and other travellers to another of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s grand works, Bristol’s Temple Meads Station.
Linda is just one of the artists with work displayed at several of the platforms, printed as posters and framed throughout the busy station.
“It was the idea of Jon Curnow, who was then the station master,” says Linda. “Jon wanted to improve the look of the station and bring more colour and interest, and, of course, show Bristol at its best. I think I heard of it through the grapevine and acted quite quickly so as not to miss out. It took a year in the making though. There was some subsidy but the artist had to be prepared to pay for part of the poster production.”
Linda admits that it’s hard to know how much the artwork is noticed and appreciated. “When folks are catching a train they are thinking more about getting on and getting a seat rather than looking at posters!” she says. “However, it’s great for passengers on stationary trains and those having to wait on the platform. The upside is that work is visible to a great number of travellers and most certainly perks up the station.”
She adds: “It should catch on nationally as many cities have areas to be proud of and artists already producing paintings of them. On the whole I think it is a most positive move and other stations around the country should be encouraged to consider it. Stations can be very dull and passengers could eventually learn to look for these posters. It’s nicer for staff too.”
Linda also sells original and limited prints of her artwork throughout the southwest, as well as leading an informal pastel class every Tuesday during term times. Upcoming courses include Pastel, Watercolour and Drawing in the Algarve during April and May 2016. “I’m a great believer in encouraging people to find their own artistic way, she comments, “develop their own style.”
Find more of Linda’s art at www.alvisfineart.co.uk.
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