After a tumultuous year of world events, we look back on a hopeful 12 months of coming together and creating change through amazing art. A big thank you to all the artists, communities and partner organisations (not just the ones mentioned here) who have made 2019 very special indeed.
Circles Shadows Overhead
The large scale installation artwork, Circle Shadows Overhead, was created by the brilliant Cathy Cross and pupils at Lansbury Bridge School & Sports College and was launched in February. Read more about this project here.
In April, pupils at St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School worked with Cathy Cross to create Talking Corridors, a project that used used mini projectors and provocations to transform school corridors into a new world that explored the minds of the students, The Guerrilla Ensemble!
Hunt & Darton’s Radio Local: Wirral
Also in April, Hunt & Darton took over the radio waves, and the hearts of Liscard, Wirral. Donning their inimitable matching outfits, the performance art pair worked with us to bring Radio Local to Wirral Borough of Culture. Cue jingles and games galore, and most importantly the awesome stories of the people of Liscard, including a memorable interview with Wirral’s answer to Greta Thunberg – The Little Collector.
In early May, we hosted an Open Space session facilitated by Chrissie Tiller, Sheila Ghelani and Emma Fry for socially engaged and collaborative arts practitioners to explore the idea of self-care in the context of difficult times for artists and communities.
With For Aboout: Art & Democracy
In the last standing ‘Pilks’ club, Ravenhead Social Club in St Helens, we took on the big questions of our time with arts practitioners from across the world including Larry Achiampong, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Rick Lowe, Brian Harnetty and Jonas Staal. It was a day of coming together, sharing insights and stories of socially engaged practice and collaborative art.
Hunt & Darton’s Radio Local: St Helens
After the success of Radio Local in Liscard, Hunt and Darton were live on the air & in Church Square #StHelens for 12 hours at the end of June. A highlight of the day was the DJ Take Over by members of the media group at BuzzHub St Helens CDP.
Hana Madness in residence at Change Grow Live, St Helens
In August, Jakarta-based artist & activist Hana Madness worked with members of Change Grow Live St Helens to create an army of mini monsters that told stories of recovery – did you spot them in the #madove #takeoversthelens space?
New office & new brand!
In September, after 4 years in the old Beechams Building, part of St Helens College, we moved into new premises on Haydock Street. Previously the site of MASH cafe and art gallery, this space also great legacy for the Heart of Glass Ambition for Excellence programme HELEN having been the engine room for this activity and the home of Idle Women during this project. Now the Heart of Glass HQ, it’s also the home of the brilliant Citadel Arts team.
Also in September, we celebrated 5 years of Heart of Glass by rebranding in honour of this half decade milestone and to reflect the way our organisation has grown and evolved over the past five years.
Gemma Nash and Acorn Farm
Bringing Madlove to St Helens
In October, we welcomed the artist and mental health activist the vacuum cleaner (a.k.a James Leadbitter) to St Helens to begin to transform the old Argos store on Church Street into a space for art, conversation and care – The Madlove Take Over Space. James worked with designer and producer Sascha Gilmour, Mary Osborn (Artsadmin) and a team of volunteers to transform the space.
James also spent lots of time meeting people across St Helens and spreading the word about Madlove. Here’s Rob who leads the arts club at Change Grow Live St Helens in front of a mural he painted during his own recovery process.
A Madlove Take Over 2019
On November 1st, we launched A Madlove Take Over, a month long arts festival for mental health, in the old Argos store on Church Street St Helens. A Madlove Take Over was curated and produced by Heart of Glass, the vacuum cleaner and Mary Osborn (Artsadmin) with the support and collaboration of individuals, organisations and communities across St Helens. Find out more about A Madlove Take Over here.
Throughout the month, the space was home to care, conversations, art and LOTS of tea – we reckon over 1200 cups of tea were enjoyed by members of the St Helens community, all specially blended by the Time for Tea group from Clockface.
Over this very special time, the theatre within the Madlove Space hosted a number of different events including the opening night solo show by Jess Thom, a.k.a Touretteshero; a film screening and Q&A with Johnny Benjamin and Angela Samata; a performance and talk by artist Rory Pilgrim and collaborators; a creative and collective discussion around how we can do mental health care better in St Helens facilitated by the vacuum cleaner; and a performance night, cake baking and tea party with the wonderful Kitty O’ Shea!
Thanks for joining us on this whistle stop tour of 2019 and for being part of another wonderful year of creating change through art. Stay tuned to hear what’s coming up in 2020, there’s plenty!