Saturday 26th July 2014

St Helens Artists Receive Support

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The Heart of Glass Consortium is delighted to announce nine local artists and arts groups have been commissioned to produce exciting new projects in St Helens. Dance, music in its many forms, digital and visual arts will all be on the agenda in the coming weeks. Following the first round of Prototype Project applications the following local artists have been successful and will  bring their ideas to life:

  • Indie band The Loungs will collaborate with a whole range of different musicians from St Helens, from brass bands to choirs, in the writing and recording of their third album.
  • Jonathan Parker will create a sound installation and performance based on conversations and stories overheard on public transport.
  • The Cowley Singers will invite other choirs and choral groups from the town to join them in a special workshop led by the world-renowned Kings Singers.
  • Vox Voices will be singing in unexpected places as their choir flashmob meets pop up Betty’s Tearoom pops up all over town.
  • The Art Club of St Helens and Paint Pots Arts Group will each invite a contemporary painter to lead a workshop with their members, taking the John Moore’s Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery for inspiration.
  • Haydock Band will commission a contemporary musician or composer to make a new piece of work in response to music from their archives.
  • Kevin Crooks is working on a project that will connect with the experiences of Veterans. A trained photography, Kevin plans to connect with local and regional veterans in a unique collaboration that will culminate in an exhibition of work.

In addition the have offered development awards and support to the following ideas:

  • Dance group UC Crew will explore hip-hop theatre
  • Photographic artist Angela Wilkinson will develop her proposal to make a body of work based on St Helen’s Churches using digital photography, walks and workshops.

A selection panel, included Laraine Winning, Voluntary Arts Development Manager, creative producer and musician Ian Brownbill and Ron Helsby from The World of Glass.

Laraine Winning, said: “This first round of applications demonstrated the myriad of arts groups active at a local level and their creative ideas for engaging with the local community. I hope the programme goes from strength to strength with more groups and individuals tempted to be involved either by attending an event, submitting a proposal or joining a group.”

Martin Wells of local band The Loungs, said “The Heart Of Glass has put us in contact with like-minded creative souls within our town. They will help to facilitate the rehearsals, recording and production that goes into the making of an album, and help nurture our latest project to fruition. “We’re looking forward to meeting and building relationships with musicians on our very own doorstep. With a sense of fun, adventure, and a little bit of patience, we can hopefully make a wonderful racket!”

The UC Crew, have received a development award, Tom Glynn of the Break Dance group, explained: “We attended the launch at The World of Glass and soon realised the whole project is going to be fantastic for St Helens. Our plan is to work with a theatre company and develop some entertaining hip-hop theatre. We are testing new ground and it’s great to be working with other talented groups.”

All applicants were considered in-depth with individual feedback offered throughout the process. Unsuccessful applicants have been informed and we now welcome to re-submit their applications in future rounds of the micro-commissioning process, phase two opens in the autumn this year.

More than 70 local artists and groups were consulted during the design of the commissions scheme, helping to set the criteria for selection. A spokesperson for The Heart of Glass, said: “Since the launch of the micro-commissions in May we have been in constant dialogue with applicants to ensure the process has been fair, thorough and professional. There is a great variety within the first round of commissions and we’d like to congratulate the success groups and individual artists. It’s very pleasing to see the amount of collaborative work proposed in the applications and hopefully this will prove a real spark for art in St Helens.”