Epsom: celebrating heart and heritage

We love the new artwork by Eliza Southwood at Epsom station and spoke to Karen Pengelly to find out more.

Eliza Southwood Epsom screen printing of suffragettes, Epsom Derby and cyclists

Arriving at Epsom station, striking new oversize colourful screen prints showcase all that has seen Epsom into the history books and beyond, into our hearts. Taking inspiration from art deco travel art, Go Epsom commissioned British artist Eliza Southwood to design the ten artworks that depict all that we love about Epsom.

The Derby, Epsom salts, suffragette Emily Davison and a gateway to the Surrey Hills all get the spotlight here, amongst works highlighting Epsom’s heritage and contemporary cultural scene.

Heading up Go Epsom and the Epsom Business Improvement District (BID) since May 2020, Karen Pengelly was keen to make a statement about bringing Epsom back to the forefront of conversation, in its enviable position on the commuter belt and cusp of wider countryside. ‘For a small town, Epsom has so many claims to fame and such a rich and varied heritage. There is so much to talk about,’ she says. ‘This project was all about celebrating attributes and events, telling a visual story of Epsom.’

Celebrating Epsom

‘The style was important. We wanted block colour, striking and vibrant visuals,’ says Pengelly, who enlisted the help of Once Upon a Town’s co-founder, designer Cai Taylor for creative steer. Epsom resident Taylor, a keen cyclist, reached out to artist Eliza Southwood, a former architect whose screen prints of the Tour de France have garnered a huge following, including commissions from the V&A to cycling brand Rapha. ‘I felt she would be the perfect person for the job,’ he says. ‘Eliza was great to work with. She knows Epsom so was able to create the images not simply form visual reference but her own experience.’

His favourite? The cyclists on the Epsom Downs of course! But the commission, like everything in 2020, wasn’t without its challenges. Eliza was stuck in Spain during lockdown, and delays in installation and travel restrictions ensued. Now, as the station sees increasing numbers of rail passengers return, what warmer welcome could there be?

‘First impressions are vital,’ Pengelly reminds us, of the proudly plastic-free installation artwork. ‘Eliza Southwood has done an amazing job of interpreting the brief; I hope that the residents and visitors who see them love them as much as we do!’

Three full-size artworks have been kindly donated by Go Epsom to be the top raffle prizes at our Epsom & Ewell Foodbank curry night fundraiser on Tuesday 2nd November. For information about how to get your chance to win this amazing artwork, contact us.

This article was written by Rebecca Cox

Please note the contents contained in this article are for general guidance only and reflection the position at time of posting. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to specific matters.

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