Artist Steven Fox's Love Of Steam Trains Is Not Hot Air
Sat, 17/02/2001 - 00:00
A CHILDHOOD love of steam engines has inspired artist Steven Fox’s railway art. His mixed-media work includes portraits of volunteers who work to keep the heritage railway lines open and intricate portrayals of steam engines and trains.
“Railways were part of my childhood,” explains Steven, from Esh Winning, near Durham City. “My dad was also interested in steam engines and he took me to Newcastle station to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Newcastle to Hexham line with the engine The Evening Star in March 1985.
“I was 14. I’m inspired by the work of Guild of Railway artist and wildlife painters David Shepherd and Terence Cunue. One of my favourite artists has always been John Constable for his landscapes and trees.”
From today, Steven, who studied arboriculture at Houghall College in Durham, will be displaying his original Heritage Railway art titled Hot Coals & Ash for the first time in his hometown.
The exhibition, which opens to the public tomorrow, will be in the Durham Room at Durham County Hall and opened by the chairman of Durham County Council Dennis Morgan.
Among the special guests at the preview evening will be Richie McCardle, from Consett, who is an engine driver on both the Weardale Railway and the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. He is one of the subjects in Steven’s work.
The 41-year-old lives close to Ragpath Wood, in Durham, a Woodland Trust site of ancient woods left over from the last ice age mixed with relics of the mining industry. He is inspired by its natural history landscape – the walkway there follows the old branch line from Waterhouses to Durham City Railway Station. This was a major transport link for the mining communities living and working in Deerness Valley and an oil painting of this walkway is shown in the exhibition.