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Take Over 2019: A Madlove Take Over

1st Nov 30th Nov 2019

Take Over is our annual festival that reimagines public spaces through art projects made with, for and about people in St Helens.

Project Details
  • Care,
  • Collectivity,
  • Place
Creative Team
  • Producer/ Curator / Environment Designer: the vacuum cleaner & team
  • Artist/ Producer: Mary Osborn (Artsadmin)
  • Madlove Environment Design: Sascha Gilmour

“Labelled as the suicide capital of England and Wales, St Helens needs some love, some Madlove…”

For our 2019 festival, we invited artist and mental health activist the vacuum cleaner (aka James Leadbitter) to take over a vast empty shop and create a space for art, conversation and care.

A long table set with a pink table cloth, tea set and decorations. A number of people sit around the table. A woman in a pink wig is serving tea. Greenery hangs down and there is lavender on the table.

From 1-30 November 2019, the vacuum cleaner and Heart of Glass invited you to be part of a ‘Madlove’ Take Over - an arts festival for mental health that is transforming the old St Helens Argos store on Church Street into a space for tea, chats and moments to relax.

Together, we're brought 13 local, national and international artists and communities together to make exhibitions, films and new performances for this pop-up space - all aimed at supporting people’s mental health. You can find out more information about what was in the space below.

Did you join us for this autumn festival, made with and for the people of St Helens? Perhaps you explored the space and its artworks, chilled out in the bell tent or attended one of the many free events in the space? Did you take a seat around the Together Table and enjoy a brew blended as part of the Time for Tea project or get crafty and chatty in the Care Cafe?

You can find out more about what happened in the Madlove Take Over Space below and in this subtitled video.

#madlove #takeoversthelens

What happened in the Madlove Take Over Space?

Take Care St Helens

A way to find special spaces and places in our town that offer support, advice and care, created by Hwa Young Jung and communities of St Helens.

Together Table

A place to relax, hang out and share a cuppa with friends.

Care Cafe

Take a seat, talk with friends, or even strangers. Artist Lois Weaver and U3A St Helens invite you to gather under the awning of care. Click here for more info.

Children’s Play Area

Watch your little ones play while you enjoy a cuppa on the Together Table.

Hana Madness - paintings

A series of colourful paintings by award-winning Indonesian artist and campaigner exploring her own experiences of mental health.

Change Grow Live - Monsters (a collaboration with Hana Madness)

A series of colourful characters made by service users from Change Grow Live, sharing stories of recovery and how we are understood by our community. Click here for more info.

Madlove Portraits

See if you can find a familiar face in this series of portraits of St Helens folk, captured by photographer Stephen King.

Mr Men Do Psychiatry

Laugh / cry at artist / activist Dolly Sen’s mental health parody of the Mr Men series. Click here for more info.

Software Garden

Watch and listen to this meditative music video album nurtured over two years of collaboration and workshops. Made by artist Rory Pilgrim, with a poet, a singer, a choreographer, a rapper and a disability activist. Click here for more info.

Bell Tent

Relax in this chill out, quiet space.

The Suicide Chronicles: Chronicle One

Watch and listen as three women privilege us with access to a private world through these short films. A project by Joanne Lyne, Angela Samata, Lisa Vint with Mark Storor. Click here for more info.

But One Day

Watch a short film about love, loss and loneliness by self-described ‘cleaner and sort of video artist’ Kim Noble. Click here for more info.

Baby change station

Cinema / performance space

Enjoy a free film screening, or programme this space with your own events. Email with your ideas.

Heart of Glass pop up office

Come say hello and find out more about our projects as we temporarily move our office into the Madlove space.

A group of people stand chatting in a room. On the wall behind them there is greenery hanging.
A middle aged white woman stands on a stage with a mic in her right hand and a pink drinking glass in her left. She is dressed head-to-toe in bright pink; her bee-hive hair do is pink; there are a pair of knitting needles stuck in the top of her high hair do, these are pink too; she also wears a comedy pair of glasses whose oversized frames form the numbers 50 in pink
Supported By

Special Thanks To Our Project Supporters

Useful Details



Samaritans: 116123 A safe place for you to talk anytime (24h, free).

Papyrus: 0800 068 41 41 Prevention of Young Suicide (free & confidential).

AMPARO: 0330 088 9255 Support for anyone affected by suspected or actual suicide.

Shout: text 85258 The UK's first text support for anyone in crises, anywhere, anytime.


Suicide Prevention - Available on Google Play and Apple App Store now.

Stay Alive App - Packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in a crisis.

Calm Harm App - Tasks, information & support to help you resist the urge to self-harm.

What was on

Take Over 2019: A Madlove Take Over Events