In May 2015 a three metre neon sign of the words ‘YOUR NAME HERE’ was placed over St Helens Town Hall signalling the launch of an ambitious new public art project in the borough commissioned by Heart of Glass.
The eye-catching illumination was above the doorway of the civic building for six weeks from launching Your Name Here, a competition that will see Lyons Yard, Ravenhead Greenway Park re-named after someone with a connection to St Helens.
Your Name Here is a project conceived by artist Joshua Sofaer who is encouraging the people of St Helens to get involved in an interactive public art competition.
The project called on people to tell us the name of a person they wished to nominate to become the new name of the park, along with the reasons why. Nominators were asked to explain their nomination with a story, drawing, painting, video, photo, sound recording, or even an object. The named person needed to have a strong connection with St Helens, whether historic or more recent and could have been a friend, family member or local hero.
Applicants from anywhere in the world could enter online at www.winyournamehere.co.uk, by post, or in person, with the competition closing on 26 June 2015.
A judging panel, including well known St Heleners James Roby, Andy Reid and Johnny Vegas, then reviewed the nominations and selected the winner in late summer.
The grand prize will see Ravenhead Greenway Park permanently renamed after the competition winner on September 5th 2015, with their name becoming part of the town’s fabric, maps and park signage.
Artist Joshua Sofaer, said: “The aim of Your Name Here is to get people talking about who is important to the people of St Helens. I want to help celebrate the residents of St Helens in an extraordinary way exploring the themes of citizenship, history, family and civic pride. I hope it gets conversation going about who our role models are within the community and thinking creatively about the people in their lives.”
Director of Heart of Glass, Patrick Fox, added: ”We’re really delighted to be working with artist Joshua Sofaer and St Helens Council on Your Name Here which we hope will capture the imagination of the people of St Helens over the coming weeks and months.
“The Heart of Glass commissioning philosophy is very much about creating ambitious collaborative and participatory art projects that question the world we inhabit and create new spaces for debate and exploration. Joshua shares this commitment and so we are delighted to be working with him to realise this ambitious project that will literally change the landscape of St.Helens! We’re looking forward to seeing the many and varied responses that come through.”
St Helens Council Leader, Councillor Barrie Grunewald, said: “St Helens is already home to many gifted artists in various forms and this competition is a great opportunity to further increase arts participation in the borough.
“I would encourage people to take part and share their talents with the residents of St. Helens.”