Hello from Heart of Glass HQ!
It’s been a fantastic week for us, with lots going on. We have officially been up and running a year now as a live project and already in that time have met and collaborated with so many inspiring people, communities and partners.
This past week has been particularly eventful – here’s a round-up.
The wonderful Yellow Door Artists launched their new project space ‘The Beauty Of…a Creative Space’, located in the old Burtons shop on Church St. The unit has been transformed into a live residency and exhibition space featuring an array of wonderful work by contributing artists. The project was supported through our Prototype Projects strand and features the fantastic work of two other Prototype Project supported artists’, Alan Smith and Kevin Crooks.
We highly recommend multiple visits to this space and want to say huge congratulations to Yellow Door Artists. Together Naoise and Rhyannon (Yellow Door Directors) have created something really special and supported a lot of other artists along the way, highlighting the real need for studio, production and exhibition space for artists in St.Helens….in the long term! #ifyoubuilditheywillcome
Also this week we had another wonderful Family Art Club, produced by Claire Weetman of Platform Artist Studios and this week featuring artist Paul Brandford supported by Chel Logan. Family Art Club runs the first and third Saturday of the month at St.Mary’s Market and welcomes between 50 and 110 children and young people each week – big thanks to flyer extraordinaire Ant Shea for his on-going work on this and other projects!
This week also saw an important milestone in the Your Name Here project. The project, conceived by artist Joshua Sofaer, created the opportunity to rename a park in St.Helens after someone. On Saturday the 5th of September, Vera Page Park was launched. What we hoped to do through this project was created a conversation with the borough, explore who our role models are and who we feel deserves recognition, with the end result being the chance to literally re-name a park. A public art project that would fundamentally change the borough forever.
The project exceeded all expectations with hundreds of nominations flooding in, creating a beautiful portrait of St. Helens. Vera Bowes nomination of herself as a child under the name Vera Page was the eventual winner. Her moving nomination, a story of adversity and childhood neglect, serves as a tribute to young and old and the struggles many of us go through in life as we try to make peace with the past. The park was launched today (September 5th) with music from the St.Helens Male Voice Choir and a variety of workshops run and conceived by Artists Angela Wilkinson, Jeni McConnell, Michelle Wren, Claire Weetman, Jane Barwood, Alison Kershaw and our resident knitter Jean.
A publication featuring Vera’s story and a selection of around 30 other nominations will be distributed to 60000+ homes on September 10th through the St. Helens Star. In 50 years time someone might ask the question ‘why is this park named Vera Page Park?’, and when they investigate, not only will they find Vera’s story, but also the story of the project, the hundreds of nominees and the portrait the town created of itself in 2015.
Next week we have Artist Lowri Evans in residence at Yellow Door’s project space working with our Heritage Community Commissioning group and various walking groups to create a new project which will involve an old bus (thank you Transport Museum, St.Helens) taking people on a trip around town (with a difference!) on September 12th – you can book tickets here.
Also next week, the fantastic Ian Greenhall (another Prototype Project commission) will launch his sold out performance at the old Beechams building (next door to our office) as part of Heritage Open Day. We’re also still collecting wool and talking to knitters and wannabe knitters for the commencement of our Knitted Park project as part of TakeOverFest 2015.
In the coming weeks we have collaborations with DaDaFest, Homotopia, The World of Glass, The Citadel and Live Art Development Agency and something for young and old, and a funding raising professional development opportunity for artists…
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to find our more, or get in touch with one of the team and arrange to pop by for a cup of tea!