Wednesday 18th May 2016

Rugby meets art at Langtree Park

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Langtree Park Stadium has been hosting more than Rugby League in recent times as we explore new cultural experiences on matchdays.

The 18,000 capacity stadium is the biggest purpose built Rugby stadium in the country and is home to St Helens RFC who play in the First Utility Super League from February through to September.

We have been linking with the club and its charitable trust to bring art to the arena on matchdays.

Busking from singers and samba bands have been commissioned to add to the atmosphere as punters pour through the turnstiles.

Artists from the well established Heart of Glass Family Art Club have led a host of pre-match workshops including a photo walk and banner makers. Thousands of free Saints art packs by Dave Bixter including photography challenges, drawing and creative writing have also been dished out to young fans.
Artists films and video has been beamed across the stadium big screen and concourse screens to more than 13,000 spectators.

Work from artists both international and local along with promotion of Heart of Glass projects has been regularly shown to Rugby fans in their seats. The work is introduced by the on field pitch announcer, on Rugby League news websites and in the matchday programme.
In the youth zone of the stadium images from photographer Stephen King hang for passers by to see. The stunning images of men and women hard at work at amateur clubs in St Helens was entitled ‘For The Love Of’ after the line was continually told to Stephen when he asked “Why do you do it?”.

Langtree Park has also hosted visual arts on the pitch in the form of ‘And on that note…’ by Rhona Byrne. The visual arts intervention including a range of on field performances involved local people in front of more than 1,200 people.LTP

Patrick Fox, Director of Heart of Glass, said: “We enjoy a great relationship with St Helens RFC and the amateur clubs throughout the borough. This allows us to look at Langtree Park stadium as a site for cultures experience, beyond sport. With the numbers of people through the turnstiles it helps us take our projects to a new audience.

“We have looked at Rugby League as a model for community engagement and have found some exciting points of inter section between sport and art