Arvon Wellen (Spain) latest contribution.
Arvon Wellen’s interest lies in the language of machinery and the symbols employed in the diagrams that illustrate industrial and mechanical devices. However, the human relationship to machines is the most important element that goes towards understanding the reasons behind industrial development and the consequences thereafter. The science museum has always been a source of inspiration. Wellen trained as a lithographer and sculptor but as a student in Leicester, he was substantially influenced by Rigby Graham who introduced him to the artist’s book. George Stephenson was an inspiration because he brought together a number of ideas that provided a practical solution to the problem of transporting coal. This development in and around Sunderland inspired Wellen to look at the nature of the “iron horse” with its steam, fire and smoke. The railway line itself was important as it forged its iron passageway across fields and intruded into the landscape, which would never be the same again. The Hetton to Sunderland Railway – George Stephenson’s first Railway includes lines of text summarising George Stephenson’s achievements in building the railway from Hetton colliery to Sunderland in 1822. The railway gave the opportunity for Sunderland to grow and for industry to expand in the 19th century.
The prints are intended to express the nature of this railway system with its “iron horse” that introduced iron, fir and steam into the landscape. There was euphoria at the opening of the line as people from Britain and abroad realized the potential of this achievement and what it would mean for the future.
Beth J Ross (UK)
Beth J Ross moved to the North East in 2004 and only discovered Seaburn in 2009 after being taken there by a friend. The place brought to mind melancholic, early childhood memories of the seaside and has become a very special place for Beth J Ross and her children. Ross I currently studying for a foundation degree in Fine Art. Welcome to Sunny Seaburn is composed of a chip box made from a page from the Sunderland Echo, filled with hand cut and printed chips showing a deserted Seaburn. Chip box can be popped open and chips removed to reveal images of Queens Café and the penny slots.