University student’s artwork marks Curzon Street revival
Birmingham City University visual communications student, Sarina Kaur, beat off stiff competition to be crowned winner of an art competition marking the arrival of High Speed rail in Birmingham.
The winning design is now on display between the Roman-inspired columns of the former Curzon Street station entrance, giving the world’s oldest surviving piece of monumental railway architecture a modern makeover.
The Government announced that Royal Assent had been granted for the new High Speed Two (HS2) railway on Thursday, 23 February, paving the way for construction of the Phase One line of route between Birmingham Curzon Street and London Euston to begin.
HS2 Ltd joined forces with the University in a bid to find a talented artist whose winning design would be reproduced as a centrepiece to celebrate Curzon Street’s important railway heritage and exciting future.
Sarina’s original artwork was praised by the design panel, headed up by Sarah Weir OBE – former executive director of the Arts Council, for its ‘thoughtful combination of graphic and artistic style which references both the beginning and end of Curzon Street’s previous incarnation as a working railway station’.
The winning design has been reproduced on to two 8.3 x 4.3 metre banners and is on display on the exterior of the former Grade 1 listed Curzon Street station building, the oldest railway terminus in the world.
Sarina said: “I never expected to win, but I am delighted to have done so. The inspiration behind my design has taken influence by the illustrator and art director Kate Moross. Using a serif font and reforming the elements of a steam locomotive to represent the 19th century, I have merged elements of both traditional and modern styles, allowing audiences to understand how art has been influenced over the years.”
Birmingham City Council leader Councillor John Clancy said: “Sarina’s artwork symbolises the start of an exciting period of change for Birmingham Eastside. HS2 is a huge opportunity for our young and growing population, so we are delighted to have worked in partnership with HS2 Ltd, Birmingham City University and the local student community to celebrate the announcement that High Speed rail is coming to the city.”
The Curzon Street design competition was supported by the University’s Graduate+ initiative, which looks to identify and develop students’ experience and build on their skills, enhancing and supporting their employment options when they leave university.