On the Art Track! Art, Creativity and Communities Will Bring Thanet’s Stations To Life through a New Partnership

Turner Contemporary is leading in the formation of a new Community Rail Partnership, in collaboration with Thanet District Council and with support from Southeastern. Thanet’s Creative Isle Community Rail Partnership will cover the line and all seven stations on the route in Thanet –  Birchington-on-Sea, Westgate-on-Sea, Margate, Broadstairs, Dumpton Park, Ramsgate, and Minster. 

The new Partnership will offer a voice for the community through art and creativity, enabling  local groups to animate railway stations and trains. It will also encourage sustainable travel through the use of cycle networks as well as welcoming tourists, when people are able to travel. The Partnership is working with Bikeability Trust and Kent Coast Volunteering to involve as many people as possible from across Thanet. 

Victoria Pomery, Director at Turner Contemporary says: “We’re thrilled to lead this exciting partnership project which brings together art and communities across Thanet. As we celebrate our 10th Anniversary Year at Turner Contemporary the Community Rail Partnership reflects our ambition to continue our work in making the arts a vibrant, vital and fundamental part of every day life.” 

To launch the initiative, Turner Contemporary have commissioned award-winning sound artist and composer Emily Peasgood to create a unique sound piece for each of the 7 Thanet train stations. The artwork aims to celebrate the sonic diversity and uniqueness of different parts of Thanet. Peasgood is currently running an Open Call and inviting Thanet residents to submit their sounds to feature in the artwork. 

Emily Peasgood says: “I’m really interested in what sounds people think are local to each part of Thanet; sounds that form its soundscape and create a sense of ‘home’. Each piece I create will include sounds that are heard in each location, like the Benedictine nuns singing Midday Office at Minster Abbey, the rattle and click of the Scenic railway at Dreamland, or the tinkling of Morris Dancer’s bells in Broadstairs. I want this artwork to be magical, and to paint a picture of each location with sound”. 

Louise Askew, Director of Regeneration at Thanet District Council says We’re excited to be working in partnership with Turner Contemporary and the community on this new initiative. Many of our local residents, as well as visitors, use our train stations – some of which are great historic buildings.  Emily’s soundscapes will help to animate these buildings, providing a wonderful welcome for all who use them. Not only  will this activity  help to encourage sustainable travel to and around the area, but it’ll also connect the stations with Thanet’s  excellent cycle routes, which will help support our tourism offering.”  

Chris Vinson, Head of External Communications at Southeastern, said: “Community Rail Partnerships enrich the places along the railway lines they adopt; supporting the tourism economy and helping volunteer groups and vulnerable people in local communities. “We’re delighted that our funding for the Creative Isle Community Rail Partnership will highlight the wealth of art and culture in Thanet as part of a £400,000 investment across our network over a two-year period.” 

Thanet residents are encouraged to submit sounds recordings to feature as part of the Creative Isle CRP sound installations. The deadline for entries is the April 19 2021. To find out more and how to submit sound recordings visit: https://emilypeasgood.com/crp-artwork/There will be upcoming opportunities for the community to get involved with their local stations announced over the next few months. Keep an eye out on Turner Contemporary’s, Visit Thanet’s and Southeastern’s websites and social media platforms. 

More information

The Creative Isle Community Rail Partnership covers all stations on the Southeastern network route in Thanet – Ramsgate, Dumpton Park, Margate, Broadstairs, Westgate-on-Sea, Birchington-on-Sea and Minster – and is led by Turner Contemporary in partnership with Thanet District Council and Visit Thanet. The CRP will provide a voice for the community through art and creativity, helping to welcome tourists and encourage sustainable travel. It will also encourage local groups to animate railway stations and trains and promote the use of cycle networks. 


About Community Rail 

Community Rail is a UK-wide strategic initiative of the Department for Transport, There are over 70 Community Rail Partnerships across the country to benefit communities and railways, socially, environmentally and economically. Community rail is delivered through Community Rail Network and train operating companies. Creative Isle Community Rail Partnership achieved formal membership of Community Rail Network in March 2021. For more information, visit: https://communityrail.org.uk/ 


About Turner Contemporary 

Turner Contemporary in Margate is one of the most distinctive galleries in the UK; its impact stretches beyond culture-led regeneration and the showcasing of world-class exhibitions, to pioneering change by making the arts more vital and connected to daily life. Turner Contemporary is a charity, receiving public funding from Kent County Council and Arts Council England. In copy please refer to Turner Contemporary and not ‘The Turner Contemporary’ or ‘The Turner.’ 


About Emily Peasgood 

Dr Emily Peasgood (born 1981 in Grimsby, Lincolnshire) is an award-winning composer, sound artist and visual artist. She creates research-led and site specific interactive artworks for galleries and public spaces, ranging from large-scale community events to intimate sound installations. Peasgood uses intricate sound and technology design to invite connection with people and places that are forgotten, overlooked, or surrounded by histories that can be remembered through sound. Peasgood uses sound and music to evoke truth, history, stories and the imagination, creating sonic spaces that invite visitors to be a part of her work. Peasgood’s work has been described as magical  (The Times), evocative (The Telegraph)and memorable (A-N)Emily views her work as pushing the boundaries of what music and sound is believed to be, from the venue it is experienced in to the people who perform it. Her work is often multi-disciplinary, including literature, visual art, and sign language interpreters to engage people in more ways than sound and music alone.  She won an Ivor Novello Composer’s Award for her work at Folkestone Triennial (Halfway to Heaven, 2017) and was nominated for an Ivor Novello for her recent work, Never Again (2019, Ideas Test).