How to contribute to Off the Rails

Off the Rails consists of (currently) three cabinets on platform 2, which shows visual images, a poetry cabinet on platform 1, and two 3D display cabinets in the ticket office. Artists, makers and creative businesses normally use the cabinets on platform 2 and the 3D display cabinets to showcase their work in different ways.

An A4 cabinet in the ticket office carries information about the exhibitions, and you can leave contact details, cards and leaflets on the bookcase to let people know where to find you.

We organise the poetry cabinet, and will issue calls for contributions on the Facebook group and page, sometimes along loosely similar themes to the exhibition.

You can look at the back catalogue of exhibitions and other contributions on the original website.

Getting involved

If you would like to help in some way – big or small – we’d be very pleased to hear from you. Please email us at offtherailswivenhoe at gmail dot com. We always need help with distributing the Words down the Line postcard, or ideas for exhibitions.

Guidelines for art & craft submitting work to us

Every so often we will issue a call for artwork, but please get in touch with us if you have any ideas.

Here are the guidelines and specifications for the different parts of the project.

Platform 2

The 3 poster cabinets are 26’ x 40’ (66cm x 101.5cm) – between an A1 and A0 size – portrait direction.

Since they are mostly viewed from Platform 1, large bold designs are most visible. They might get damp, so prints will probably work best.

The Copy Centre at Essex University does A1 prints of good quality for £11 per print.

Contributors normally mount these on thin boards to enable the images to stand out, not slip if they get damp, and to deal with the size of the cabinets vis a vis the prints.

Ticket office cabinets

The two cabinets are approximately 55.8cm x 75.4cm – landscape direction. They can take work up to a maximum of 4.5cm in depth. There is a plastic insert that can be used to help mounting, but contributors normally use backing board.

The cabinets are 10ft from the ground, so again need to be appreciated at a distance, albeit a more intimate one than the Crab and Winkle displays. Putting in a coloured backdrop will help the displays to stand out.

We can show textiles and any other craft that will fit easily in the cabinets too.

The pieces won’t be able to be advertised for sale, but we will put up a descriptor of the artist/craft person, should anybody want to contact them.

Artists information

We ask artists and businesses to produce a simple statement about themselves and their work (about a third of an A4), and some photographs of their pieces to put on this site and the A4 information cabinet in the ticket office.

We will promote this post and therefore your work across social media and local press outlets.

We are fully funded and can cover all costs, but we ask that you try and access the cheapest suppliers for materials like backing boards.