The County Durham 2025 City of Culture campaign was an exciting project that Lizzie has been a part of. Although the county was not awarded City of Culture, they were awarded a fund and support as runners up.
Between January and March, Lizzie engaged with community members who live on, or have used, the Bishop to Darlington railway line. This line was the first in the world, and paved the way for trains across the globe, permanently altering transport as we knew it. As Lizzie learned about stories and culture surrounding this historic location, they created a series of visual artworks for display at the station platforms along the route, translating local memory into an art trail. This also includes a series of poetic works exploring the impact of the railways on local, working-class culture. In the spring and summer, Lizzie will lead walks and workshops across Shildon and Newton Aycliffe. Station exhibition will launch in March 2023, supported by The Bishop Line.
Lizzie has also been visiting the Darlington Hippodrome archives and will be showcasing an expanded range of work based around our local rail history and the postcards kept in the theatre. This exhibition will launch on May 3rd 2023, with a follow up in Greenfield Arts in November 2023.
The North East is known for its inductrial history, from coal mining to steel works. The Bishop Saltburn line is home to the start of the railways. Heighington station was the first ever railway station, and although from the outside it looks like any other platform it is the origin of a transport that revolutionised the way the world functioned. All along the Shildon to Darlington route people built trains and their infrastructure, making travel accessible to working class people and improving quality of life. Though this came with the sacrafice of many railline workers lives. This monumental achievment and those who made it happen deserve to be remembered.