Schools and Colleges Programme

The Heart of Glass Schools and Colleges Programme is a pilot scheme working with key partner schools in St Helens. A key output will be a series of online resource packs that complement the Heart of Glass Programme, aimed at different key stages and available for all schools and colleges in St Helens and delivering CPD to local schools networks.

Cathy Cross is Artist in Residence: Schools and Colleges. As well as developing her own practice – which will include bringing in additional artists to collaborate with – she aims to become truly embedded in the key schools and respond to partnerships collaboratively with teachers and pupils.

Cathy builds dens, creates projects, and constructs new spaces for pupils, teachers and parents to forge a deeper relationship with learning. Her work explores how the environments we use – often those overlooked or ignored – can become inventive incubators for personal growth. Harnessing projections, sound scapes, low-tech gadgets and high-spec smartphones, Cathy is embedding herself within the communities of St Cuthbert’s and Lansbury Bridge schools. Her practice doesn’t shy away from the difficult questions either: if our children lack ambition and drive, what’s at the root of that? And what can we all do – teachers, parents, peer groups – to engage curious young minds, inspire those who work with them, and help all of us reach our full potential in the process?

For more information email

St Cuthberts Catholic High School, St Helens
March to May 2018

Working alongside art teachers at St Cuthberts, we delivered our pilot project in Spring 2018. During GSCE art lessons,  year 10 students explored themes of structure Architecture and mechanics. We devised new lesson plans in line with the current Independent Study Pack. We built some temporary structures/ pods in the covered area outside of the art rooms, these structures could be used as starting points for the students to study, take part, record and interview the artist in residence for their own research. Some students worked directly with me (Cathy Cross) to construct the spaces and therefore devise uses for the pods as further learning spaces for outdoor learning. I met with the teachers who run the Farne Centre (learning support) and we have identified a cohort of year 7 students that may choose to take part in the Talking Corridors project that will run from September. This will be an informal approach, getting to know the students in the learning support centre, finding out what they might be interested in doing, either during break/lunch times or during lessons. Using projectors and smart devices I intend to look at how messages can be conceived, created and delivered, by students that may not always have a voice. I plan to project content, images, videos throughout the corridors during lunchtimes to raise intrigue, interest, engagement and questions.

Lansbury Bridge School and Sports College
Autumn 2018

During the autumn term, Cathy will be working with the whole school community at Lansbury Bridge School to create an installation suspended above the atrium in the dining hall. We will be using various medium to produce abstract surfaces on circular discs that will be in part opaque, textured and clear. This will then create a multi layered projection surface. Cathy hopes to use this as a basis for exploration using projection, Lighting and soundscapes. Sending images, videos, animation and artwork, projected across the air above our heads…as we meet to eat together each day..


We Are Still Here

Simon Mckeown is an award winning internationally exhibiting artist renowned for his work which touches on and considers disability as well as our digital futures.

He is leading a new art project celebrating St Helens as a location for invention and innovation. This energy is still present today, taking form through artistic and cultural experiments, making St Helens a fertile ground for community and collaborative based arts practices.

To cement this status, We Are Still Here, a new commission led by Artist Simon Mckeown, will work with the local community and in particular, disabled artists, to create a series of works which will not only reflect on 150 years of the town’s history but also project into the future, exploring St Helens and its people as a creative force.

Mckeown will develop, through a co-production programme, a number of events leading up to a mass outdoor video projection.

Working throughout 2018, this bombastic artistic endeavour; including massive video projection, will temporarily manipulate the townscape, blurring reality and space and presenting new and alternative realities for our consideration.

Baa Baa Baric


Jack Welsh of The Double Negative joined bemused locals in St Helens to report on artist Mark Storor’s epic residency, Baa Baa Baric.

Marking two years into his 12 year project for Heart of Glass, Welsh finds flowered police horses and children amongst those helping Storor to question the town’s negative stats…


Click here to read the full review



On The Water


on the water is a slow touring canal-based project in Lancashire and West Yorkshire.

The artists are currently delivering workshops at the idle women institute on Haydock Street in St Helens.

idle women offers a place for all women and girls to belong. Founded by co-caretakers Cis O’Boyle and Rachel Anderson in 2015, idle women is an artist led organisation that initiates and creates contemporary art with and by women.

idle women is responding to the devastation caused by austerity cuts to women’s services and the systematic erasure of women’s contributions to public life. They believe in creating opportunities, networking and other connections with women across the UK and beyond, and nurturing long term partnerships with specialist women’s providers.

Click here for the latest events

Getting To Know You


A new art project has been encouraging residents in two St Helens housing schemes to reach out and get to know each other.

This summer artist Sheila Ghelani has worked with the residents of Helena Partnership sheltered housing scheme.

Each week Sheila will work with residents to make out-of-the-ordinary gestures, creating a stir that reaches out to their community and invites others to step over the thresholds within the scheme.

Sheila, an interdisciplinary artist working in performance, installation, participatory event  and moving image, is currently leading the series of workshops in the schemes that continue into September.

Shelia, explained: “When I first visited the housing schemes one of the main things that struck me was that both the residents and Health and Wellbeing Office Nikki Wilkinson mentioned wanting to somehow engage with the more private residents, those who are a bit invisible and might not come down to meetings for a variety of reasons.

“There was also a lot of talk about doorways! So I started to wondering about how to cross some of those more private thresholds, to gain access or make contact with those that don’t come down to the common room, in the most non-intrusive of ways (letters, invites, gifts,  sound).

“So that was the project’s initial starting point – ways in which to cross this very important boundary – the one between the residents private space and public space. It’s going to be great to see where the project ends up!”

The opening workshops saw participants create individual floral invitations, which were hand delivered to each of the properties within the scheme.

The mysterious hand printed invitations dropped through letterboxes with a note offering everyone in the scheme the chance to ‘Join Us’ – on a specific date, but with no location offered. This created a talking point, whereby participants and staff were able to share more detail about the forthcoming event.

Newcomers to the project then came out to join early participants and see a cellist and violinist perform – including the song ‘Getting to Know You’.

The growing group of residents from Parr Mount Court and Heald Farm Court will continue to work with Sheila to create new ways of getting to know their neighbours and explore the thresholds and boundaries that exist in their communities.

The project will continue throughout August and into early September. If you would like any more information please contact


Instagram: @sheilaghelani




Helen (Working Title)

“I wanted to tear the house apart”


Helen is a programme that will create immersive and explosive art experiences focused on women.

With international partners, Anu Productions and idle women, we will explore women’s persistence and resistance. We will contextualise present day violence against women in unspeakable and unimaginable histories, and look to the future.

Anu is renowned for interdisciplinary work that delves into historical and contemporary events, with scalpel like precision and dreamlike intensity. They bring unheard voices of the community to the fore, and aim to blur the lines between immersive and site specific installation art.

“★★★★★ ANU are responsible for the most searing and provocative works of the past decade and delivered some of the most ambitious and thrillingly intimate theatre in living memory”

Peter Crawley, The Irish Times

idle women create contemporary art with women. Their current work ‘on the water’ is a slow touring canal based project in the North West of England and West Yorkshire. Selina Cooper, a tailor made narrowboat, serves as a resource and arts centre for women.

Using a combination of enquiry, artistic endeavour, unconventional engagement practices and historical research we will create a new set of productions in 2018; the year St Helens celebrates its 150th birthday. Helen will create tectonic shifts in the everyday lives of the women who co-create her as well as the structures that work against us.

As we go, we will address inequalities in women’s labour in both the arts and construction sectors. We will develop skills for the future and create change in the power held by women from a diversity of backgrounds.

We will:

create new art experiences for audiences from across St Helens and beyond

re-imagine a local house, creating a nationally significant women’s space

provide talent development for early career and established female producers and artists

create change in the arts sector, in relation to collaborative practice and employment opportunities for women

disseminate learning through publishing and a national conference


We are in the early stages of developing this programme, and will update this project page as we go.


For more information about the current professional development opportunity please click here.