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Contemplation Seats

The only working stretch of the old varsity line between Bedford and Bletchley sees the installation of a new interactive artwork designed by artist Sally Annett. In the build up to the lines 170th birthday in November 2016 this year Annett is installing a series of quiet visual and digital pieces which create a realworld and virtual contemplative trail which travels directly through the landscape of Bunyans Pilgrims Progress.

Working with support from London Midland, Network Rail, Arts Council England, Luton and Bedford Community Foundation, Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership and Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity, the project was launched on 24th March, the first day of spring of 2016 and will run as a pilot for one year.

The activity sites a series of linked artworks; Contemplation Seats, or points, one on each side of the 12 platforms of the Marston Vale Community Rail line. The artworks themselves are aluminum panels, attached to existing station furniture and installed onto the two London Midland trains on this line.

A project website will develop real world artistic practice alongside new technology, with scope for anyone with a smartphone to share photographs of their own contemplation locations.

Each panel displays contemplative visual and text-based artworks created by Annett as part of the Snakes and Ladders project extended research and interview. Inside the train carriage further artworks highlight a selected ‘contemplation seat’ on each train.

The work looks at the aesthetics of and experience of travel, pilgrimage and population migration.

Project website

You can learn more about this exciting project at:


About Sally Annett

Sally Annett is a multi-media artist and curator/producer based in the UK.

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