Inside the amazing pop-up 'pub' created in an Easington Lane bus stop
Passersby were left doing double-takes after a bus stop was transformed into a pub.
‘The Lane Inn’ included wallpaper, a disco ball, music and hundreds of photographs of nights out in nearby hostelries.
The pop-up installation was created by artists Sally Southern and Nicola Lynch in Easington Lane.
It was as part of an ‘Art in the Streets’ project commissioned by Sunderland Culture, with the aim of getting people to experience art by chance, to raise smiles and to get isolated members of the community talking again.
Vicki Kennedy, producer at Sunderland Culture, said: “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 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 City Council for allowing the project to take place.”
Sally and Nicola created the installation after speaking to people in the area about what they’d missed the most during covid lockdowns.
The wanted to celebrate the social connections cut because of lockdowns and social distancing.
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.
"We also showcased some artwork and images produced by local primary and secondary school children in summer 2020.
"The young people photographed their experiences of what they were looking forward to, or created ‘word art sculptures’ to depict what got them through lockdown.
Nicola added: “Because of Coronavirus restrictions we couldn’t have a full exhibition, so the unusual location of this artwork brought a smile to everyone’s faces. It was so positively received and it was a pleasure to talk to the local community and reminisce with them.”
“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.”
More bus stop installations are planned for the coming months, but in the meantime Vicki is working with artists Gilly Rogers and Jenny McNamara on two more Art in the Streets commissions.
Gilly is working on a Messages of Hope project in which she will help participants produce clay figures holding an object that represents hope for the future as we move toward the easing of lockdown restrictions and being able to spend more time with family and friends.
Jenny’s project will involve a neon light installation, which will reflect what people are looking forward to most as lockdown ends.