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The Tunnels of Love – Transforming the subways in Newton Abbot

The Tunnels of Love Project is an exciting art project, led by local artist Kate Green. The project has been managed by Newton Abbot Community Interest Company and has engaged local schools, community groups and artists in creating artwork which is being installed in the subways around the town.

The focus of the project is currently on the subways at Penn Inn roundabout where the themes of water, air, earth and fire are being used as a focus for the art installations in the four subways. The tunnels have been repainted and have been resprayed by graffiti artists. Large photo panels and ceramics reflecting each of the themes have been installed in the tunnels. The water tunnel includes a number of information panels reminding visitors of the connection that Penn Inn has with water – prior to the construction of the roundabout, the site was a very popular community paddling pool. One of the subways is intended to offer interaction and playfulness. The Air tunnel has many thought-provoking questions to ponder on your day’s journey, a selfie opportunity to become a bird, a treasure hunt to find iron age bronze animals as well as some fun, fairground mirrors. 

In addition to the work at Penn Inn, the subway by the River Lemon at Asda has been resprayed and further works will be taking place on this subway in the coming months.

The Project is funded by Arts Council England and Teignbridge District Council.

Newton Abbot Community Interest Company would like to acknowledge the contribution of Newton Abbot Town Council in delivering the Project, their help in installing the artworks has been invaluable.

Emily Farrell from Newton Abbot CIC commenting that “it’s been really exciting to see the transformation of the subways through our ‘tunnels of love’ project. We hope that everyone will enjoy the beautiful art installations, as well as feeling more safe and secure when walking through the subways. We’d like to thank everyone who has made the project possible”.

Kate Green artist commented that ” What we have created in these four subways is unique. We usually expect murals in these spaces and what the Tunnels of Love project has done is to also use photography and pottery workshops to not only create unusual artworks, but to involve local people in the creation of the public art around them. The local community will see artworks made by someone they know, rather than by anonymous artists. The subway artwork is made by them and belongs to them “.