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'Here’ is an art exhibition with an augmented difference.

With over 30 years' experience, Impossible Arts, an innovative participatory arts events company, will break down the confining walls of art galleries and bring St Helens residents, families, art enthusiasts and educators, creative communities and visitors to our town, the chance to explore St Helens like never before. 

Developing a digital portrait 
Over a period of 18 months, we will explore how new technology can be used to create a portrait of St Helens.

Developments in augmented reality have allowed audiences of all ages to actively engage with popular computer games such as Pokemon Go. We would like to harness the interest and explore how it can be used to share multimedia artwork, which is often confined to a gallery or performance space.  

Collaborative Working
Cultured (the St Helens Cultural Education Partnership) secured funding from the Arts Council England National Lottery Projects Grants to explore the history, geography, social make-up and diversity of the town. Using St Helens Community Archive as a starting point, all participants will work with our exciting artists and performers (listed below) and explore issues relevant to them - with the aim of presenting a creative outcome in outdoor spaces across the borough. 

Announcements
Impossible Arts, our lead digital organisation, will bring all work together for a final outdoor virtual exhibition in August/September 2021, using augmented reality to share the work more widely and in an innovative way. 

We will also soon be announcing which schools will be working with us on this project, and running some community workshops in libraries. Keep a lookout for details. We can’t wait to work with you!

If you would like to be part of this project, please email cultured@sthelens.gov.uk for further information. We'd love to hear from you!

Meet our artists and performers

Claire Weetman – Visual Art
www.claireweetman.co.uk 

Claire is a St Helens-based artist working in a variety of mediums. Her practice has recently included projects related to mental health and with refugees based in St Helens. She creates performances, installations, photographs, drawings and film.

Henry Iddon - Photography 
www.henryiddon.com

Henry is a professional photographer with over 20 years of experience working in the arts. He has exhibited his work across the UK and internationally in places such as: Brazil, Nepal, Italy and Syria. He also shoots for a range of editorial, commercial and broadcast clients including BBC World in London.

Kate Hodgson - Visual Art

Kate’s artistic practice is rooted in the process of printmaking and collaborating with others. She is interested in print’s role as a ‘democratic art form’ that can be taken away from the confines of the gallery and used to spread messages.

Capoeira for Al - Dance, Music
www.capoeiraforall.org 

Capoeira for All is an acclaimed community arts organisation that uses the exciting and dynamic Afro-Brazilian art-form of Capoeira to inspire young people to realise their potential, explore their creativity, build confidence, develop cooperation & communication, encourage respect & empathy, and bring the school community closer together.

Grace Smith – Dance and Music

Grace Smith is a folk musician and clog dancer.

Altru Drama CIC – Drama
www.altru.co.uk 

Altru Drama CIC is a creative education organisation that uses drama as a tool for learning and personal development.

David Bixter - Visual Art
www.davidbixter.co.uk  

David Bixter is an Artist, Designer and Musician whose practice focuses on exploring drawing and process.

Mako Create - Creative Digital Tech and Art
www.makocreate.co.uk  

Mako Create aims to turn consumers into creators by delivering creative, digital, art and media activities that inspire participants.

Cara Looij – Puppetry

Cara Looij is a creative arts practitioner working with applied theatre, puppetry, visual art and multimedia projects, with a strong commitment to social change, education and wellbeing in her work.

 

Emmer Winder - Visual Art

Emmer Winder is a teacher of digital photography within De La Salle School. She also has 19 years of experience in developing her own personal practice, which covers many disciplines but is centred on conceptual creative art.

           

We've created some fantastic activities for families to try at home, and be part of this exciting project. Click the relevant image above to download a booklet. We have included links to an English version, as well as Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Kurdish and Romanian. Please let us know if you require a version in another language or format. Our aim is to make this project as accessible as possible, so please let us know what we can do to help you be part of it. Further activities can be found below.

As a family, read through the short article below from an old St Helens newspaper and complete the following tasks.

Article

The Prescot Reporter published this article on the 12th March 1870 about the Prescot Penny Bank, which was only opened for a short while on Saturdays to encourage saving amongst the poor: "Reference has several times been made in the columns of this paper to the almost intolerable nuisance caused to shopkeepers and others in the Market-place, by the children attracted to the Town Hall on Saturday evenings by the Prescot Penny Bank.

"On Saturday last the noise caused by the children running after one another up and down the thirty or forty steps which lead to the hall, combined with the occasional ringing of the fire bell, rendered it almost impossible for the persons in the neighbourhood to attend to business with any degree of comfort. A lot of dirty, ragged and most impertinent boys and girls made the entrance to the Town Hall into a little Pandemonium.

"It no doubt is very commendable to afford the poor, and the children of the poor, the opportunity of saving the little money which finds its way into their possession, but this could and ought to be done without disturbing the peace of the neighbourhood. Could Mr. Superintendent Fowler [the head of Prescot Police] do anything to remedy this state of things? Children of the ragged, dirty stamp of those referred to, generally “make tracks” at the sight of a policeman."

Task 1: Questions

Using the article, answer the following questions together:

1) How do you think the poor children felt on Saturday outside the Penny Bank?
2) How do you think the children felt about being called dirty and ragged?
3) How do you think the children felt when they saw a police person?
4) How do you think the children felt about disturbing the local shopkeepers?

Task 2: Hot-Seating

Label yourselves Character A and Character B.

Character A is now going to become a reporter and Character B is going to become a child from outside the bank.

Act out a short interview! Do your best to get into character, thinking about how the child would stand, what their voice would sound like and what facial expressions they would use.

Here are some suggested questions the reporter can ask the child:

1) What was you doing outside the Penny Bank on Saturday?
2) Where were your parents?
3) Why are your clothes dirty?
4) What were you doing with the other children on the steps?
5) When the police arrived, what did they say?

Use your imagination to ask as many questions as you can, always thinking about how the child may have felt at the time.

Task 3: Extension

Repeat Task 2, but this time Character B is going to become a nearby shopkeeper.

Here are some suggested questions the reporter can ask the shopkeeper:

1) What were the children doing outside your shop?
2) How often has this been happening?
3) Is this affecting your business?
4) Would you give any of these children a job at your shop?
5) What else could these children be doing with their time?

Again, use your imagination to ask as many questions as you can, always thinking about how the characters may have felt at the time.

Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are,
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky,
Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.

Say the words of this song (sing it too if you know the tune).

Now clap your hands and stamp your foot along with the syllables of the words in the first line, like this:

Clap Clap

Clap Clap

Clap Clap

Stamp

Twinkle

Twinkle

Little

Star


We have 2 different sounds: ‘twinkle’ (clap clap) and ‘star’ (stamp).
Try to do this clap and stamp pattern through the whole of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!

There’s one last thing to add, and that is: a ‘rest’. This means we wait and don’t clap or stamp. Instead, say ‘shh!’ - and put your finger on your lips as you say it (as if you’re telling somebody to be quiet!).

Make your 4-sound pattern. There are 3 sounds to choose from: ‘twinkle’ (clap, clap), ‘star’ (stamp), and ‘shh!’ (rest). Here is an example:
Here’s another example:

Star

Twinkle

Twinkle

Shh!

Twinkle

Star

Shh!

Star


When you’ve made your pattern, write it down (so you don’t forget it!) and then teach it someone else at home. Then you could help them to write their own pattern too. You could clap/stamp each of your patterns in a row, or even try both of them at the same time!

This video workshop about clog dancing has more musical rhythm games for you to try at home:
Introduction to Clog Dancing

 

 

Stand outside or look out of your window at the sky. The sky is always there. It is constant, but it is also always changing. In this activity, we are going to look at the point where our world meets the sky. The Skyline.

Activity

Take a photo of the skyline from a window or from outside your house. If you do not have a camera, you can do a drawing of the skyline (it doesn’t need to be perfect, just a rough idea of the shape of the skyline will do).

Using the photo or drawing, recreate the shape of the skyline using a variety of materials. You can use string, cut up paper or card, Lego or building blocks - get creative with what you use to recreate the shape of the skyline.

You can work together with your family to create joined-up skylines with different objects. Try combining different views to create one long skyline. Now choose your favourite section and trace it using tracing paper. You can then colour it in with felt tip pens to create a stained-glass window effect. Hold it up to the window or shine a torch through it to see the colours glow.

When you have finished, you can take a photo of your skylines - try experimenting with different photo filters to change the look and feel of your image. Share you artwork on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag: #HereInStHelens

Artists who are famous for including the sky in their work:

J.M.W. Turner

James Turrell

Extension activity

If you have access to the internet, you can add a soundtrack to your skyline. Go to:

https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Melody-Maker

Using the coloured blocks on the screen, roughly recreate the shape of your skyline. When you have finished, click the play button to hear the tune your skyline has made. You can experiment with changing the tempo (speed) of the melody using the slider at the bottom of the screen. There is also a “Delay” button - this repeats the notes in your melody to create interesting effects.

When you have created your melody, make a short film of your skyline while playing the music. Share your finished skyline film on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag: #HereInStHelens