Wednesday 20th April 2016

Prototype Projects from St Helens artists are to become a reality

Back to News

Work from eleven St Helens artists is set become a reality following the most competitive round of Prototype Projects.

Prototype Projects is an exciting programme of small and ambitious art projects developed by artists and local creative communities across St Helens.

Now in its fourth iteration, the successful applicants to receive Prototype Project commissions for Round 4 include ideas ranging from: a new collaboration between a composer and the St Helens Gospel Choir to produce new work, creating a new exhibition called St Helens Goes Pop! that infuses pop, graffiti, street and digital art to supporting a young ceramicist to receive professional guidance and mentorship. To date we have supported over 35 projects by local artists and communities.

The decision-making panel (which changes each round) included Hannah Longworth, Curator, The World of Glass, Joan Birkett, an artist awarded a R&D Prototype Project from Round 3, Ant Shea (member of the St Helens Community) and Laura Yates, Participation Manager, The Bluecoat, Liverpool (external guest).

With over 15 applications, competition was high and our panel had some very difficult decisions to make. Patrick Fox, Director of Heart of Glass, said: “This was a really strong round of submissions, and the panel had some tough decisions to make. The aim of this commissioning opportunity is to support artists and communities to try something different, to take a risk and potentially open up new opportunities for future working – the commissioned works all respond to that aim and we are excited to support them to fruition”.

SONY DSC

Left to right: Artists: Rhyannon Parry, Briony Machin, Katie Musgrove & Simon Jones]

Prototype Projects (Round 4) will be supporting the following projects (below) and we are also delighted announce our Faculty cohort of artists who will be producing a set of projects during this period:

Projectile Vomit: A Portable Art Installation (Faculty Artist)
Michelle Wren & Simon Jones 

Michelle Wren is an artist, activist and set builder from St Helens who will work collaboratively with musician, VJ and multi-sensory artist Simon Jones to produce a new, interactive installation called Projectile Vomit. Exploring CCTV, humour and colour with a political edge, they will use video mapping & projections to create a unique, animated art and musical experience. With a DJ booth embedded within it, it will host musicians, artists and performances, as well as inviting St Helens musicians to showcase what they do, as part of a Heart of Glass art weekend during October/November.

Briony Machin [R&D]
Recently graduated Briony Machin will spend the next six months developing her professional practice as a ceramicist and artist, where she will get mentoring and guidance from experts within the arts & ceramics sector with the support of Heart of Glass. She will also get the opportunity to attend a research trip to a national craft / ceramic event, because she wants to expand her networks and push her work further to establish herself both locally and nationally. View her work here

St Helens Goes Pop!
Drunk Wolf

Digital artist Drunk Wolf will hold his first solo show in The World Of Glass Museum, in the Godfrey Pilkington Gallery from 30th April 2016. Expect spray paint, digital art and a few other things including work by some of the We Art The Response artist group.

The project looks to utilise pop art styles, as well as pop culture to both celebrate St Helens – its people, places and history, touch upon issues affecting the town as well as current affairs. The project came about after approaching the World of Glass with an initial idea and building upon it to construct a show that people of all ages within the town can relate to through the imagery and subject. Read the interview here.

Songs of Hope and Joy
ADM Productions & St Helens Gospel Choir



Conductor & Choral Leader, Alexander Douglas and Arts Project Manager, Katie Musgrove from ADM Productions will develop a collaborative pilot choral project with The St Helens Gospel Choir. Over the next several months they will deliver a series of gospel music workshops for both the choir and the people of St Helens, compose new music and work towards a final performance in St Helens Parish Church in October/November.

Another Place
Yellow Door Artists (Faculty Artists)

Yellow Door Artists (Rhyannon Parry and Naoise Johnson Martin) will build and develop an artist exchange between St. Helens’ twin town France, Chalon Sur Saone to open new creative connections overseas. St. Helens has a strong link with the French town stretching back 50 years and the artists want to create new, artistic connections with the aim to establish relationships with various artists and organisations. Embarking on a research visit to France in Autumn 2016, they will document their experiences and conversations through photography, drawing & writing and on their return to produce new artworks, culminating in a joint exhibition in St Helens.

A Maze of Displacement
Claire Weetman (Faculty Artists) 

Artist Clare Weetman will research & develop various possibilities surrounding her idea of a maze whose walls are made of people creating emotive gestures with their hands and bodies; whose walls and passageways shift, open and close for people and audiences to explore and experience. Working alongside people, groups and communities who have experience of displacement, she will also work collaboratively with a performer/ dancer/ choreographer who will challenge her artistic approach and bring high quality, performative elements & viewpoints to the artwork.

Ian Driver [R&D]

Sound engineer and music practitioner Ian Driver will research the hidden, underground St. Helens music scene, identifying the musicians and songs of local significance. He will research the different genres of music, find best ways to document their performances and identify if there are young people and/or communities who want to work collaboratively with him to further develop a new archive of local, hidden music.

M62: Trans-Pennine Motorway
Kevin Crooks (Faculty Artist) 

Over the next 6 months, artist Kevin Crooks will produce a new series of work (using film and photography) to explore the social and economic impact the motorway has brought to St. Helens and beyond. He will research the various possibilities surrounding the M62 motorway corridor, which will include working collaboratively with people, groups and communities in the vicinity of the motorway, as well as seeking additional funds, developing new partnerships and considering alternative outlets for the presentation of the work, which will include a new publication.

For more information about Prototype Projects click here

Prototype Projects

A programme of small & ambitious art projects by artists and communities

Read More