St Neots Rail Station

The Brief

The community association at Love’s Farm (LFCA) in St Neots developed a proposal for a community mural measuring 47 metres (155 feet) that would span the inside of the walkway of the bridge that crosses the railway. St Neots and the new community of Love’s Farm are separated by the railway and the creation of a mural looked to bridge and connect the communities and welcome visitors to the town. Funded by Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) Passenger Benefit Fund, Neotists were selected as the creative community organisation to take the project forward and plan the design and commission an illustrator. I was lucky enough to be chosen as that illustrator. The project was covered in the local media.

The Approach

Working closely with Neotists, I began looking at ways to visualise the idea of community using local landmarks and we developed a shortlist of the iconic buildings and structures, parks and gardens, reserves and waterways, ensuring they didn’t exclude any features from the parishes that make-up St Neots. I spent several weeks driving and walking around the parishes, building up a library of photographs of distinctive places that local people would recognise and associate with the area. It was a challenge to transform the area into a 47-metre long semi-geographical layout where one parish leads into the next. In total I spent 110 hours working on the project.

Parts of the artwork were printed and installed in St Neots Library, and St Neots Museum commissioned a bespoke tote bag design for sale in the museum shop. The image has also been used on the cover of the newly launched St Neots Directory, created by St Neots Community Support.

The artwork for the mural went on to be longlisted for the Association of Illustrators’ 2022 World Illustration Awards in the site specific category.

Client Feedback

“ This has been a fantastic collaboration between GTR, Neotists and Love’s Farm Community Association with the aim of bridging the communities across the railway line. We are thrilled with Carli’s work, which showcases the landmarks of St Neots in a wonderful way, providing a vibrant welcome to the station and the growing community for visitors and residents alike,” said Marcus Pickering, Chairperson of LFCA.

Tom Moran, Managing Director for Great Northern and Thameslink, added “Across our network we’re making our stations more attractive, comfortable and sustainable. As part of a multimillion-pound improvement programme we’ve commissioned local artists, community groups and schools to liven up thirty stations with unique works of art inspired by their local area. By working with local partners such as the Love’s Farm Community Association, our stations can become valuable assets for the areas and people they serve. The creator of this wonderful mural at St Neots, Carli Pfurtscheller, is a great example of the hugely talented, hard-working artists we’ve had the privilege to work with”.