Changing Tracks

Artist Name(s) Various Artists
Artwork title Changing Tracks
Context/Background Changing Tracks was a contemporary visual and digital art project that facilitated the creation of nine new temporary outdoor artworks in three countries by three international artists as part of the European Union’s Culture Programme 2007-2013. The artworks responded to former railway lines, their heritage and local environment in Northamptonshire (UK), Mayo (IE) & Catalonia (CAT) and in each instance were situated on or adjacent to disused railway lines now used as walking or cycle paths. The nine artworks (three in each participating region; one artwork by each artist) remained in-situ until the end of the summer 2014. The Irish edition of the project was situated along the Great Western Greenway - the former railway connecting Westport to Achill.

The Irish edition of Changing Tracks was launched in Westport, Co. Mayo, on 12 July 2014. [Launches also took place in Tortosa (30 May), Girona & Olot (14 June) and Northamptonshire (15 August)]. The three participating artists created the following projects for the County Mayo context:

Aideen Barry (IE) Strange Terrain

Aideen Barry’s artworks created for the Mayo context included a limited edition interactive publication which was made available in local libraries, B&Bs on the Greenways, and in buried treasure boxes (Geocaches) along the lines. The publication drew inspiration from a 19th century publication ‘Hints for Lady Travellers’ by Lillias Campbell Davidson, which offers both useful and (now) ridiculous advice for the independent female traveller. Girls from the Sacred Heart School in Westport worked with Aideen to create animations, accessible via QR codes available in the publication. Barry presented 30 short stop-motion video projections at intervals along each of the three cycling/walking tracks, in former goods sheds, architectural follies, tunnels, viaducts, and water towers. 

Noah Rose (UK) The Museum of Interconnected Events

Noah Rose's sculptural installation was situated along the Greenways. The small museum comprised a series of ‘event cabinets’ clad with a ‘shell’ of local materials, and contained a variety of artefacts, including salvaged objects found locally, archival photographs and other documents relating to the impact of the railways on their surroundings, local species diversity and local legends or cultural traditions. Noah conducted a large body of research in the three regions, and found curious links between the countries illustrated in the collections. The cabinets explore themes such as migration and exile, hidden personal histories of journeys, transformation of raw materials, the livelihoods of local people, the persistence of memory and the connection between language and cultural identity.

Xevi Bayona (CAT) Smoke Train

For the Mayo context Xevi Bayona created a large-scale, temporary art installation Smoke Train situated at the Viaduct in Newport.





Aideen Barry (born 1979, Cork, Ireland) is a visual artist whose work meditates on the mysteries and metaphysics which govern her interest in das Unheimliche  (The Uncanny). She works in the media of performance, film, animation, drawing, sculpture and installation. Solo projects include Catherine Clark Gallery (2012) US, Galeria Isabel Malaga ( 2012) Spain, The Butler Gallery (2010), Centre Cultural Irlandais (2003) Paris. Her works are contained in collections such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Arts Council of Ireland Collection, the Art OMI Collection ( US) and the Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Malaga ( ESP).

Noah Rose is based in Salford, Greater Manchester, England and has worked in over 80 locations across Britain and Ireland, as well as across continental Europe. His artistic practice encompasses sculpture, drawing and a range of hybrid three-dimensional work including sculptural typography, architectural metalwork, street furniture and micro-architecture.

Xevi Bayona is a Catalan artist and architect, who is known for his spectacular multi-media installations. Bayona’s practice applies a range of honed creative skills across several complementary disciplines, from architecture and visual art, to design and photography, in order to deliver artistic concepts and ephemeral interventions that work in unison.

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Mayo County Council
Commissioning process Two-stage competition
Public Presentation dates July 11, 2014 - September 25, 2014
Partners Northampton County Council (UK); Transversal Consortium (Catalonia, Spain); Funded by The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission, as part of EU Culture Programme 2007-2013
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By European Funding
Budget Range 150000 - 250000 euro
Project commission end date 28/11/2014
Location Various locations along the Great Western Greenway, from Achill to Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland;  Nene Valley, Northamptonshire, U.K; and Ruta Del Carrilet/Via Verada del Baix Ebre, (Tortosa, Olot and Girona) Catalonia, Spain. 
County Mayo
Content contributor(s) Web Editor
Public engagement

The primary intention of the project was to engage new audiences for contemporary art by placing the artworks in a non-traditional exhibition / display environment, thereby removing barriers to participation and providing opportunities to engage with a wide range of leisure and recreational users e.g. walkers, cyclists, families, fishers, and local community groups e.g. heritage, schools, colleges and local tourism businesses.

Following a series of site visits to each participating region, the selected artists developed their proposals through engagement with respective local communities, arts organisations and associated workshop activities and events, and installed the new artworks in each respective region during the summer of 2014.

The launch in Westport was accompanied by a bus tour to a number of the artworks located along the Greenway.  A seminar aimed at artists and cultural professionals took place on 25-26 September 2014, in GMIT, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.

Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Gaynor Seville, Public Art Co-ordinator, Mayo Co. Council

Official Irish launch by Senator Fiach Mac Conghail, Director of The Abbey Theatre

Cultural Planning and Policy Unit, Northampton County Council (UK)

Transversal Consortium (Catalonia, Spain)



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