Bringing colour and creativity to the streets of St Helens this spring
This spring a series of exciting new artworks commissioned by Heart of Glass will bring the streets of St Helens alive with colour and creativity as communities and artists make their mark on the borough’s public spaces.
As part of the collaborative arts organisation’s Arts Council funded Creative People and Places programme, a number of internationally renowned artists, supporting partners and residents will work together to create striking art pieces across the borough.
Activities include a large-scale floor mural, produced in partnership with St Helens Borough Council and the European Regional Development Fund, by critically acclaimed print artist The Fandangoe Kid. Following on from her recent feature for Channel 4, a digital piece for the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s charity Thrive and a collaboration with Marie Curie and the NHS, her latest commission will boldly welcome visitors into the town centre.
Meanwhile, Arriva North West will give people from across St Helens the unique opportunity to experience ‘art on the move’ as its local buses are transformed with artworks made in collaboration with young people, members of Buzzhub St Helens CDP and the borough’s LGBTQI+ community. Artists Emma Colbert (in collaboration with Homotopia), Rudy Loewe and Michelle Wren (in collaboration with Wonder Arts), along with local artists Bea Albanese and Kathryn Edwards, will see their collaborative designs printed onto buses, as well as on to a series of onboard advertising panels.
Finally, after the huge success of last year’s murals by residents and Nomad Clan in the heart of Parr, St Helens, several further sites in the area will be transformed over the coming months. With support from Torus Foundation and Culture Hubs, Heart of Glass will bring together communities and schoolchildren with internationally renowned street artists Billy Colours and Faunagraphic to make their mark on local buildings and spaces with their colourful designs.
Angharad Williams, Head of Creative People and Places Programme at Heart of Glass comments: “At Heart of Glass we believe art is for everyone and belongs everywhere. Through our CPP programme, and thanks to the artists, partners, and communities we work with, inspiring projects such as these create empowering cultural events that connect us all.”
Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, said: “We’ve seen in other areas how public art like this can make a town or city a more vibrant and attractive places to visit, keeping with identity, heritage and culture. You’ve only got to look at the impact the murals in Parr have had which celebrate our borough’s proud industrial past, so if this project is anywhere near as successful then it will be a job well done, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the end result.”
Helen Cibinda Ntale, Head of Health and Wellbeing, Torus Foundation, said: “Being part of the initial mural project and working within the community, the Foundation was able to see first-hand the strong sense of pride in Parr. By helping to fund this next phase, we can foster that success and focus on inclusive grass roots projects where communities and local groups get to be in the driver’s seat.”
Howard Farrall, Arriva Area Managing Director, said, “We’re proud to be a part of this exciting and important community project for St Helens. We’re looking forward to seeing the artistic output of the Heart of Glass campaign adorning one of our Arriva St Helens buses later this spring and we encourage people to look out for it.”