Great pictures show how bus stop was turned into a pub for arts project

A new ‘pub’ was just the ticket for bus passengers in Easington Lane.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 4:52 pm

A bus stop was transformed into a pub by artists Sally Southern and Nicola Lynch.

The work was part of an Art in the Streets project commissioned by Sunderland Culture to get people to experience art by chance, to raise smiles and to get isolated members of the community talking again.

The bus stop transformation into ‘The Lane Inn’ included wallpaper, a disco ball, music and hundreds of photographs of nights out in the pubs of Hetton and Easington Lane.

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The project takes shape

Sally and Nicola spoke to local residents about what they’d missed the most during the lockdowns and celebrated the social connections which had been cut by lockdowns and social distancing.

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Vicki Kennedy, Producer at Sunderland Culture, explained: “This project really has given local people a talking point and we hope it raised spirits after such a tough time.

"The arts play an important role in improving health and wellbeing and this project has been testament to that.

The Lane Inn is open for business

“The feedback we’ve had on social media has been really supportive and we would love to repeat the project in pop-up locations throughout the year.

"While our cultural venues have been closed, we wanted to make sure that people could still access and engage with the arts and sometimes, that means bringing art to our communities.

“Anyone getting on or off the bus, waiting for the bus or simply passing the bus stop could engage. It was a brilliant day and we’re grateful to Nexus and Sunderland Council for allowing the project to take place.

“After a tumultuous year of lockdowns, social distancing and restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we can now start to look forward in the hope of better times ahead and the art installation wanted to raise smiles for local people in the area.”

Artists Sally Southern and Nicola Lynch create the pop-up installation, while a couple look through the many pictures

Sally said: “With help from local landlords, Easington Lane Community Access Point and social media, images of nights out in Hetton and Easington Lane were collected dating from the 1960s to the present day.

The work also showcased artwork and images produced by local primary and secondary schoolchildren.

More bus stop installations are planned for the coming months.

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