Kent & East Sussex Railway welcomes intergenerational community mosaic
A colourful wall mosaic depiction of Tenterden, created by local school children and older residents of Tenterden and the Romney Marsh, has found a forever home at one of the featured town landmarks.
The 123cm x 83cm artwork has been installed at the Kent & East Sussex Railway (K&ESR), within the station concourse, for visitors to view and admire for years to come. The mosaic has been treated and sealed to protect it, as far as possible, from the elements.
The creation of the mosaic was the idea of Generations Connect, a National Lottery-funded intergenerational project, delivered jointly by Caring Together on the Romney Marsh (CARM) and the Romney Resource Centre. It was developed following discussions with Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre whose pupils have previously taken part in other successful community art projects.
As the first stage of the project, pupils from Homewood were challenged to submit a design illustrating the features that most remind them of Tenterden. After reviewing lots of high-quality entries, a drawing by 13-year old Year 8 Homewood student Marnie (pictured beside the mounted mosaic) came out on top and the project moved on to the next stage: translation into a practical mosaic design by local artist and owner of Teach Me Studios on Romney Marsh, Yolanda Houston.
The final stage was creating the actual artwork. This was achieved by a group of older Tenterden and Romney Marsh residents – members of the Generations Connect initiative - and a group of Homewood pupils, including the mosaic’s designer Marnie, over the course of a number of workshop sessions. Supervised by mosaic expert Yolanda, they first mastered the specialist techniques required, such as: tile cutting, matching colours, tile setting and grouting before bringing the design to life.
Kath Jones Generations Connect Project Manager said: “I can’t thank everyone enough who gave of their time and energy and took part to make this a reality. I am sure the mosaic will be enjoyed and celebrated by future generations and provide poignant nods to the unique landmarks that remind us all of Tenterden and the lovely place that it is”.
Heather Packham, Visitor Experience Manager at the K&ESR said: “We are delighted to be able to host the Generations Connect mosaic which features one of our heritage trains steaming out of the station. It is lovely to know that young and old see the railway as a key feature and attraction of the town for visitors and locals alike.”
Homewood Principal, Jeremy Single, said: "We are so pleased to be part of this wonderful community project and that Marnie's amazing design is going to be on permanent display at Tenterden Town Station. Working with others on community projects is very important to us as a school. The students who worked on creating the mosaic really enjoyed the experience of working with people of different ages, and with a vast range of skills, and are now really keen to contribute to supporting and developing their local area even further. I would like to thank Miss Hancock, Art teacher, for co-ordinating the project. I would also like to thank Generations Connect and the Kent & East Sussex Railway for their ongoing support."