Fiddlers Ferry, Mersey Gateway Bridge project review

The featured image above shows the view for the North East over and towards Manchester with Fiddlers Ferry in the distance – photo by Lee Harrison- Also above, a full-size sketch (16 feet x 4 feet- 4876mm x 121mm) Charcoal on paper. Study for the painting created on site at Fiddlers Ferry by Shaun Smyth 2019

VR Exhibition- Fiddlers Ferry and Mersey Gateway Bridge

The exhibition mounted by Tubes Artists Public Gallery is to provide an example of some of the Art created by Shaun Smyth, painter and Lee Harrison, photographer. They have been documenting the North West’s most iconic structure Fiddlers Ferry Power Station since well before it was decommissioned in the Spring of 2020. “Art Project Fiddlers Ferry Power Station.” was conceived after the completion of the earlier three year project Constructing the Mersey Gateway Bridge exhibited at the Brindley Theatre and Art Gallery, Runcorn, Cheshire in 2019.

painters TUBES magazine document and support both these projects and participate with contributing practical editorial and curatorial advise and support by working directly with the Artists, marketing and catalogue creation and production, as sponsors

take the catalogue to full screen –

Shaun Smyth- painters TUBES preview exhibition of fiddlers ferry project
the 16 foot x 4 foot painting created on site, oil on plywood by Shaun Smyth

The preview exhibition mounted in TAG gives a hint of the complex machinery, building and the people of the power plant. A power plant which provided the power that drove a 20th century industrial Britain.

The coal plant (now closed) known as Fiddlers Ferry, was one of the last five remaining coal fired power generation stations in the UK. The plant covered a huge amount of ground, and over the years it has seen an ironic, but amazing nature reserve spin off – supporting wildlife and water fowl. The wild life took advantage of the use of wetlands the plant created from the water it used as a cooling agent and steam generator.

Fiddlers Ferry famous Cooling towers could be seen across the North West of England sometimes with with spectacular shows of clouds of steam rising to the heavens. One of the many images caught on camera, and on video and in the paintings of Shaun Smyth and the photography of Lee Harrison.

view of the Exhibition on Tubes VR Platform Opening to Public 25th September 2020

The second part of the Fiddlers Ferry Project is to narrate the demolition of the Power  Station.

It is anticipated that this will be a visual spectacular, especially when the enormous towers come down. And the artists are sure to be aware of the possibilities of the forms and  colour the event will offer them, There will be a touch of sadness about the whole closure. Despite the 21st century awareness that coal fired power generation needs to be stopped, for the good of the delicate balance of the environment as it is today, this power plant has been an iconic emblem of the North’s contribution to the wealth of the British Nation.

“can do and will do attitude”

In 1974 Fiddlers Ferry stood for a progressive, can do and will do attitude of the working class people of the area. So when it comes to independence and non-reliance on outside providers of essential energy requirements for a nation, it is not surprising the memory of it will live on in the minds of the people who make up the power house that is the North of England.

Smyth and Harrison work has been assisted by a silent third member of the project. This was the writer, artist, exhibition curator and creative conceptual idea proposals of the editor of Tubes magazine Denis Taylor.

The artists will present two parts of possible exhibitions, specifically for the North West UK regions heritage and art museums, these will be spread over a number of years. A synopsis pdf can be made available for Museums, Art Galleries and interested third parties.

The first part of the proposed exhibition(s) is now complete and is on offer to various venues in the North West for the years; 2021/2022/2023

one of the many fantastic photographs taken by Lee Harrison for the Fiddlers Project

The paintings, photographs and video for these exhibitions “Fiddlers Ferry as it Stands” and “Fiddlers-Ferry as it Falls.” shall provide a visual historic record – One can imagine a permanent representation of some of the Art in an industrial dedicated Museum for future generations to view as part of their heritage and as a visual education in later half of the twentieth century.