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A University of Chester international student has been named as one of the winners of a national art competition organised by Network Rail.

Earlier this year, Natalia Marchuk, who studies BA Fine Art entered the Wish I was There’  competition. This initiative invited students across the UK to design a postcard which represented a place they were looking forward to reconnecting with once travel restrictions had ended.

Natalia, originally from Ukraine painted Chester’s famous Eastgate Clock (above).

Following almost 270 entries, Natalia (pictured below) was selected as one of just 20 winners. As well as receiving a £2,500 cash prize, Natalia’s work will feature in the Wish I was There exhibition on display at various train stations in the UK.

Natalia’s work is also available to purchase as a postcard, greeting card, and poster from the competition’s online shop.

" I feel very happy and honoured to be chosen as one of the winners. I’ve spent a lot of time in Chester and this painting is close to my heart. It depicts Chester’s most famous landmark, the Eastgate Clock at sunset. I love sunsets in Chester because you can see the sky very clearly and all the colours reflect upon the buildings and streets. I cannot wait to see my work on display at the national exhibition.  "

— Natalia Marchuk

Sir Peter Hendy CBE, chair of Network Rail, said: “The standard of art submitted has been beyond exceptional and reflects how much we have all missed travelling.

“The railway has a long history of creating works of art to promote the destinations that people can travel to by train, and the art submitted completely and utterly reflects that. This art will become a part of history, documenting what has been an unprecedented time for all of us.”

Network Rail’s Wish I was There exhibition starts at London’s Waterloo station before going to Reading, Liverpool, Leeds and Glasgow. Further information can be found here.  

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