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The School for Invisible Urbanists Presents: The Book of St Helens

4th Jan 30th Jun 2021

A guide to the real and imagined sights of St Helens.

Project Details
Categories
  • Young People,
  • Collectivity
Creative Team
  • Artists: Andy Field and Beckie Darlington
  • Illustrator: Rhi Moxon
  • Graphic Designer: Will Brady
  • Children and Young People's Producer: Kate Houtlon
  • Producer: Suzanne Dempsey Sawin
  • Collaborators: Children and Teachers at Ashurst Primary School, Broad Oak Community Primary School and Rainford C.E. Primary School.

Places that the children love, places they wish could be better, stories of their own lives and the myths and urban legends that help shape the way they see and experience the town.

The School for Invisible Urbanists Presents: The Book of St Helens is a project that will bring together artists Andy Field and Beckie Darlington with children from three different schools across St Helens. Andy, Beckie and the school children from Year 5 and 6 will collaborate on writing a guide book about their hometown.

The Book of St Helens will be a guide to the real and imagined sights of St Helens, places that the children love, places they wish could be better, stories of their own lives and the myths and urban legends that help shape the way they see and experience the town.

In March 2020 Andy Field worked with a group of children from Broad Oak Community Primary School to form a secret society called The School for Invisible Urbanists and create A Young Person’s Guide to Changing the World; a guide and an invitation to join them in making the world a better place.

An illustration of various buildings and monuments from St Helens in red, blue and yellow.
St Helens Buildings, 2021. Image Credit: Rhi Moxon

In 2021 Andy and long term collaborator Beckie Darlington have returned to St Helens, where they will work with around 150 children across Ashurst Primary School, Broad Oak Community Primary School and Rainford C.E. Primary School to create this new guide book.

The guide book will be created through a series of workshops designed to enable the children to describe St Helens as it actually is and how they see it in their imaginations, exploring their relationship to the town. Their memories, their worries, the things they like and the things they don’t like, the changes they would like to make and their hopes for its future will all be included.

A smaller group of children from each class will work with Andy and Beckie as editors, bringing the work created during the workshops together into the final book. Graphic designer Will Brady and Illustrator Rhi Moxon will collaborate with Andy, Beckie and the children to turn the ideas, stories and artworks created during the project into a finished book.

Once completed The Book of St Helens will be presented to stakeholders in the town, creating a space for a conversation where the children are empowered to take part in shaping the town’s future.

The Book of St Helens has been generously supported by the Community Foundation for Merseyside through the #iwill 2019 fund.

Andy Field and Becky Darlington

In collaboration with

Funded by