below extract from the Mersey Gateway Bridge Project Catalogue. The project which ran from 2017 to 2020. Currently the Art Project is in Tandem with the FIDDLERS FERRY project will have a Preview online VR exhibition at the end of january 2021
Introduction to the Bridge Exhibition
It will come as no surprise to visitors of this exhibition that the Mersey Gateway Bridge is one of the most important infrastructure investments in the UK for many decades. The ambition to connect the Mersey area with a 21st century road transport network to the Northern England is indeed worthy of praise.
The bridge itself is equally a remarkable feat of engineering. Shaun Smyth had the great insight and pressing desire to record how this marvel of engineering would be put together and record it with his singularly unique artistic eye.
I came across Shaun’s paintings over two years ago when I first caught glimpse of a number of examples of artwork of the ‘Bridge’ paintings and drawings on social media. For me it was the drive behind the artistic project that caught my imagination even more so than the bridge itself. I soon came
to understand and respect the sheer artistic dedication that Shaun was applying to the task of recording for posterity this astonishing construction from the very start of the building of it to the fully operational and premiere opening day of the Mersey Gateway Bridge.
Shaun’s Art extends also into education
When I first visited the artists studio to view the work, the extent of his dedicated attention to the creation of truly unique art for the bridge project came quickly into focus. However, I also viewed work created previous to this huge undertaking of the Mersey Gateway Bridge. Shaun’s talent and attitude to art in general creation was and is, truly impressive. His Art extends to education, and as a teacher, his authentic and enthusiastic approach to painting and drawing is transferred to his students on a daily
basis. Shaun’s justifiable pride of the students achievements and their advancement as young artists is part and parcel of his life, which is typical of his belief in the importance of original Art creation in this
21st century society.
Flip the catalogue below to view the art – best viewed on a large screen
This exhibition, was admirably supported by the Brindley Theatre, Halton Borough Council, Bell, Lamb and Joynson Solicitors and painters TUBES magazine, demonstrates the attention the Artist
has given to the Bridge throughout the construction process from 2015 to 2018. In particular the skillfully created drawings, (which in my view, are works of Art in themselves), provide the viewer with a unique glimpse of what lays behind the seemingly simplistic sleek appearance of
the now completed bridge.
“accomplishment for the generations to come”
As the thousands of cars and heavy goods vehicles travel across the bridge commuting or delivering goods and services to the whole of the North of England, it will be easy to forget the people that constructed it, and how they did it. These paintings and drawings stand as witness to the builders accomplishment for the generations to come, enabling them to appreciate and celebrate the achievement of the builders and also the political
will to bring the Mersey Gateway Bridge to a reality, but more than that, these artworks should and indeed deserve to be valued beyond the actual Bridge itself, as a bank of authentic Art created by one
gifted artist for posterity.
And as a final comment, I believe these paintings deserve to be placed in a North West Art Museum building for all to view as one magnificent example of Art making a pro-active stance in recording something that will affect peoples lives far into the next century, just as many great works of Art from previous centuries have done and continue to inspire both the public and young artists of today and of the future.
Introduction written by
Denis Taylor Artist and Editor painters Tubes magazine