Most Creative Station

Between Summer 2023 and Spring 2025 Navigator North, working in partnership with Middlesbrough Council and station operators Trans Pennine Express, are leading on the delivery of the Most Creative Station programme at Middlesbrough Railway Station. This includes a series of artist commissions and residencies which aim to animate the station with site specific artworks, creative interventions and opportunities for people to be creative.

The programme forms part of a large-scale project to transform several of Middlesbrough’s cultural anchors including the Central Library, MIMA, The Auxiliary and Platform A with support from The Cultural Development Fund, a Department for Digital, Culture,Media and Sport (DCMS) fund administered by Arts Council England.

Most Creative Station commissions in progress include –

  • Rachael Clewlow – ‘Tees Colour Register’ is a large scale installation using light and colour, informed by a series of performative train journeys taken by the artist, across the entire Tees Valley rail network.
  • Adam Shaw – ‘Kiosk’ is a structure inspired by an archival photo of the former ‘Ed Walker and Wilsons’ news kiosk on platform one which will house a printing press that the artist will use to create and exhibit new work that responds to people’s memories of the station.
  • Emma Bennett – Is exploring the heritage of the textile called moquette which has been traditionally used to upholster railway carriage seating. Using colour coding, design and pattern making inspired by this, Emma will interpret the architectural features of the station building itself.
  • Beth Johnson – ‘Journey’ is a bold, large scale, publicly co-created artwork made from used train tickets, connected and embellished with threads that bind together people’s journeys, stories and memories.
  • Keino – ‘Comic Connections’ is a large-scale, full colour sequential art pieces using a graphic novel/comic format to celebrate the historical, geographical, cultural and personal connections made possible by train travel.
  • Helen Pailing – ‘Connection’ is a large-scale aerial sculpture inspired by the industrial heritage of Middlesbrough using Meccano to explore ideas surrounding bridge-making and connectivity.
  • Ed Carter – ‘Transient’ is a sculptural installation inspired by the entrance of the original Middlesbrough Railway Station which was built in the early days of the town but demolished after 35 years to make way for the current station.
  • Gareth Hudson & Toby Thirling – Will create a sound and light installation inspired by Middlesbrough’s beginnings as a monastic cell mixing sounds collected by choirs of Benedictine monks in unison with local choirs and the train station itself.

Most Creative Station will also align to FORGED – a public art programme developed in partnership with Tees Valley Combined Authority and its five boroughs and delivered by Navigator North and Middlesbrough Art Week until 2026. 

Read the February 2024 Middlesbrough Council press release for Most Creative Station here