Artists responded to specific stations and its locality or aspects of the journey through Sandwell to create a piece of work that explores an aspect of local identity.
The works aspired to de-familiarise the familiar as a way of taking a fresh look at the commonplace, revealing the everyday or hidden as an extraordinary experience. As well as responding to the theme of locality, artists explored notions of journeying as a social activity; from the banality of getting to and from workday destinations through to the potential of being able to widen one’s personal experience and link with other communities.
The artists created artistic interventions, across a 48 hour time frame with an awareness that their audiences are likely to be experiencing the work in one of four ways:-
• glimpses as they pass through the station
• waiting for the tram
• disembarking from the tram
• on board the tram between The Hawthorns and Wednesbury
The project culminated in a programme of interventions on Thursday 27 March and Friday 28 March 2002, along the Metro route that included five new artworks ranging in levels of participatory engagement and spectacle.
The work was experienced as a series of interventions that will ‘disrupt’ everyday journeying; the experience could be described as ‘chance encounters, glimpses from the tram - things to make you smile and think’.
• subtlety of one-to one engagements with an artist on the tram or in the station;
• site specific transformation / mutation of a public waiting area;
• glimpses of live art performances witnessed along the route.
Jo Roberts & Andy Robinson