29 On Now

We Are Still Here

13th Nov 2017

On the evening of Saturday 8 December 2018, St Helens Town Hall was transformed by 200,000 lumens of light, 8 supersized projectors and over 100,000 images which brought the building to life with animations created by internationally renowned multi-media artist Simon Mckeown and BuzzHub St Helens CDP.

An audience of over 500 people braved the windy, wet and cold conditions to watch the spectacle that celebrated the St Helens 150 finale.

We would also like to say a huge thank you to all the artists and that created the artwork showcased at this event. The We Are Still Here projection was collaboratively created during a number of workshops led by Simon Mckeown with BuzzHub St Helens Coalition of Disabled People over the past months and the piece was inspired by St Helens’ past, present and future.

We commissioned We Are Still Here as part of the St Helens 150 celebrations in partnership with DaDaFest, an innovative and cutting edge disability and Deaf arts organisation based in Liverpool that aims to inspire, develop and celebrate talent and excellence in disability and deaf arts. We Are Still Here was also the culmination of St Helens as the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture and this title was passed over to Wirral during the event.

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. Over the past year, he has led 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.

As part of this co-production programme, Mckeown led a number of workshops over 2018 in the lead up to the mass outdoor video projection, which will take place on Saturday 8th December 2018. This high tech artistic endeavour, which includes massive video projection, will temporarily manipulate the townscape, blurring reality and space and presenting new and alternative realities for our consideration.

“Working with Buzz Hub on this outdoor light show has been a privilege. They are a fantastically strong creative team and they worked hard with me to achieve the work we will see. Outdoor events on this scale are rare and exciting and the support of St Helens Council has been vital. Heart of Glass as the organisers are forward thinking, situating collaborative art and disability together into one massive event. This is going to be state of the art in so many ways!”

Introducing Lansbury...

As part of We Are Still Here, Heart of Glass has commissioned the Liverpool-based multi-media charity Twin Vision to work with 12 local schools and community groups to create a stop frame animation that explores the creative force of the people of St Helens and the future. Titled Invaders of the Lost Park, the collaboratively created animation tells the story of a child called Lansbury who reimagines their home town with amazing results! The animation will be premiered at the We Are Still Here: St Helens 150 Finale event on 8th December 2018.

Knit and Knatter, Newton Le Willows; Lansbury Bridge School; Your Voice, Your Choice, Knowsley; Autism and Friendship Group, St Helens; Knowsley Disability Concern, KDC; Citadel AHSC; Change Grow Live, CGL St Helens; Mill Green School; Activate Knowsley; BuzzHub St Helens Coalition of Disabled People and The Autism and Asperger Society, St Helens.