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Prototype Projects

1st Feb 2015 12th Jul 2017

St Helens artists develop and realise new project ideas supported by Prototype Projects.

Project Details
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Heart of Glass commissioned an exciting programme of small and ambitious art projects produced by artists and communities in St Helens.

Through Prototype Projects, Heart of Glass commissioned an exciting programme of small and ambitious art projects produced by artists and communities in St Helens. By funding these projects, we aimed to engage new audiences and embed the arts within our everyday lives.

Prototype Projects (previously known as the Micro Commissions) provided artists and/or communities with an opportunity to test, explore and develop new, innovative ideas. Prototype Projects could involve any art form and take place in a diverse range of social and community contexts.

A group of people stand in a room ornate tiles floors and walls and a dark wood panelled ceiling. In the room is also a large, dark wood staircase with dark red carpet. On the staircase a man in a dark suit leans over the rail talking to the group of people.
Two people smile towards the camera. One is standing up and has short, light curly hair. They are wearing a patterned shirt. The other is sat down. They have shoulder length, dark, straight hair and wear a denim jacket and large earrings. The person standing has their arm around the shoulder of the person sitting. They are surrounded by colourful paintings and art materials. They are behind a wooden desk which has a red pattern painted on top.
White, conical shaped items with red painted rims on them and the words Haydock Band in black marker.  A black and silver on sticker on one reads 'cup mute'.

In 2014, nineteen diverse projects from artists and communities from across the borough were awarded Prototype Projects for Round One and Two. In 2015, nine artists for Round Three were awarded commissions with ideas that involved bringing the iconic Beecham’s Building back to life through a performance & tour, exploring the use of moss graffiti and creating a new glass artwork.

During 2016 a total of 15 projects were awarded commissions. 11 artists initiated new projects as part of Round Four including a new collaboration between a composer and the St Helens Gospel Choir and a new exhibition called St Helens Goes Pop! infusing pop, graffiti, street and digital art. Round Five in 2017 enabled 7 new commissions including artwork for a young people’s space in St Helens Central Library alongside professional development support for artists working across a range of disciplines including performance and live art.

An over the shoulder view of a person with short, light hair earing a black shirt. The person had a conductor's baton in one hand and is pointing with the other. They are conducting a brass band. The brass band are wearing all black and are seating behind music stands in a bright room. Behind them is a whiteboard and red door.
A group of people stand in a room with ornate tiled floors, dark wood panelled ceilings and large ornate doors. Many of the people in the group are smiling and looking towards a staircase. Two people are taking photographs. On the left the large, dark wood staircase.
All Image Credits: Stephen King

Prototypes final round of comissions took place in 2017.

Heart of Glass continues to provide a range of professional development support and advice for artists based in St Helens. For more information, e-mail