The derelict Cannington Shaw furnace is the inspiration for a new art installation that opens in St Helens in April. Shadows and Lights St Helens is a Prototype Project commission by artist Jane Barwood.
The project features a 3D art installation inspired by the derelict Cannington Shaw furnace on the current Tesco car park site.
By allowing visitors to walk inside and around the artwork the artist hopes that people will look at the ruin of Cannington Shaw Furnace in a new way. Jane would like to inspire some sense of renewed pride and hope by engaging people who would not usually experience contemporary art and to encourage creative thinking.
The installation will be accompanied by paintings that highlight the importance of the old industries to the community and social cohesion of the town.
Artist Jane Barwood, said: “The project was developed my interest in derelict buildings and the stories and people attached to them. My paintings often feature buildings, outlines and silhouettes. The effect of lighting and shadow was something I was keen to experiment with. On a visit to the current Pilkington factory I heard that one of the furnaces had been “mothballed” which led to a chain of thought concerning disused things covered with dust sheets like ghosts.”
The Cannington Shaw Furnace was chosen due to its interesting shape and its historical significance, both to St Helens and internationally. Also known as the Number 7 Bottle Shop, it was constructed in about 1886. By 1892 Cannington Shaw was described as the largest works of its kind in the world. In 1913 the furnace fell into disuse and by 1918 was simply used for storage. English Heritage has registered the furnace as an Ancient Monument and described it as “the best surviving example in Britain of a tank furnace glass shop”.
Public viewings of Shadows and Lights in The Beechams Building, Water Street, St Helens, WA10 1PP
Tuesday, April 12th (1-5pm)
Wednesday, April 13th (1-5pm)
Thursday, April 14th (5-7pm)
For more information about Prototype Projects click here