Issue03 The Urban Room Issue
CURATED BY Faye Adams COVER IMAGE BY Derren Lee Poole /phunkography
Blackburn is Open is a creative regeneration scheme funded by Arts Council England and backed by Blackburn with Darwen Council. Entrepreneur and designer Wayne Hemingway MBE is the creative director. Its ethos is the town’s motto, Arte et Labore, which translates as ‘by art and by labour’ or ‘by skill and hard work’. Blackburn has a
CONTIBUTORS Faye Adams Chris Hidden Jacques McCaughran
PHOTOGRAPHY Richard Tymon / Derren Poole
proud history of art, industry and innovation. In recognition of this, Blackburn is Open aims to bring together and support a creative community in the heart of the town centre. It also works to make under-utilised spaces and empty shops available to artists and entrepreneurs, support new businesses and celebrate the creative industries.
CONTACT Blackburn is Open, 65 King William Street, Blackburn, BB1 7HU
DESIGN BY Source Creative sourcecreative.co.uk
01254 667130 Blackburnisopen.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org blackburnisopen
INSIDE Issue03 4/ Urban Sketching How sketching can help us draw a clearer picture of a place 6/ New Dimensions 3D printing pushing the boundaries 8/ Making It The Making Rooms will bring art and technology together in one venue 10/ Off the Wall Wallpaper manufacturer and interiors trendsetter Graham & Brown takes inspiration from the urban industrial landscape 12/ Street Scene Street artist Hayley Welsh makes her mark
URB / Urban Room Blackburn A pull out guide to the month long festival Urban Room 15/ Design for Life Two recent graduates take on a major public art commission 16/ L.A Story David Caffrey’s photography depicts a tale of two cities 23/ The Placebo Effect Review by Chris Hidden 24/ Talkin’ bout a revolution Super Slow Way aims to start a creative revolution 27/ Catalysts for change Architect Philip Thornton lists his ideal catalysts for urban regeneration
14/ The modern marketplace Blackburn is Open’s Creative Director Wayne Hemingway on how creativity led regeneration can revive the high street
The Urban Room Issue World-class British architect, Sir Terry Farrell, proposed that every town and city should have an Urban Room – a space in which local people can learn about the built environment.
This May it will see the second Urban Room Festival run throughout the month with exhibitions, workshops, seminars and films. In this issue we consider the urban space, how it affects people’s lives, its limitations, possibilities and opportunities.
Blackburn was the first town in the UK to open a pop up Urban Room accompanied by a festival that looked at how its buildings and spaces were used and what could be possible. 3
How sketching can help us draw a clearer picture of a place
Urban sketching suddenly feels like it’s everywhere. The art of revealing the essence of a town or city scene in pen and ink is appearing on sketchbooks all over the world. Groups of like-minded sketchers are popping up all over the place to venture out and do what may at first seem a solitary activity. But Urban Sketching like most things that capture the collective imagination – porridge, knitting, beards and baking - has been around since forever, it’s just got a new publicist.
Blackburn College tutor and Royal Academy educated artist Richard Cross says his love of the townscape sketch was born out of a certain amount of necessity. “When you’re teaching and you’ve got very full days you do what you can to keep practising your artwork in your lunch hour or when you get in from work. “I also commute so I might walk to the end of the platform while I’m waiting for a train and do drawings at the station for 10 or 20 minutes.”
In order to make the most of every opportunity, however brief, he also carries a drawing kit that includes alongside his sketchbook, a small brass telescope to help him pick out details and an ink block that becomes liquid when water is applied. He says inspiration may strike anywhere even just looking out of the window. “When I started renting a studio right in the centre of Blackburn I had a really good view out of the window so I did a few drawings there.
Caroline Johnson “I also like to go out around the town. I’ve done some from the top of the Morrison’s building which has a fantastic view and from there I started searching out interesting view points – it’s part of the fun. “You tend to be in a rush from A to B and find the shortest possible route. It’s surprising how little that we look up and appreciate our surroundings.” Artist Caroline Johnson, one of two official urban sketchers for Manchester agrees that urban
sketching can help people look at their environment with fresh eyes.
about art that makes people feel like they’re a part of it.
“I’ve always been drawn to it rather than doing saying a bunch of flowers which would be easy to make look beautiful. It’s more of a challenge to reveal that in something that at first sight might be ugly.
“On one trip I went to some mills in Salford where Lowry lived, people kept coming to talk to me about the history of the area.
“For example, a rundown area might appear quite grim but I like to reveal that there is hidden beauty there you just need to see it.” She says that one of the pleasures of urban sketching which she has done since she was a child ‘of course it wasn’t called urban sketching then’ is that people often feel able to get involved. “If you were reading a book on a bench no-one would come up to you but if you’re doing a drawing then people come up to you and talk about it. There is something
“If a person is on their own just go out sketching - it’s an amazing way to meet people.” Having been allowed to do a series of sketches within the hallowed walls of Manchester recording studio BluePrint studios where the likes of band Elbow record she says another bonus is that people find it less intimidating being captured in a drawing. “They were really open to it, whereas if I’d said I want to do some photography it would probably have been a different story.” “It really can get you a foot in every door.”
for more informarion about Caroline visit carolinejohnson.org Urban Sketching course at Blackburn College begins May 21 / email email@example.com 5
The Future’s bright, The Future’s 3-Dimensional by Jacques McCaughran There was a time when the word ‘3-D’ was only associated with a pair of flimsy cardboard red and blue lensed glasses that would never live up to the promised expectation of fantastic life-like imagery.
3D printing and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) are not new concepts but it’s only now as the hardware drops in price have the once eye wateringly expensive gadgets left the labs of Caltech, MIT and Cambridge and entered the realms of domestic ownership.
Similarly 3-D films once hailed as the saviour of the big screen in the late ‘noughties’ have now become a headache inducing gimmick that allows for the bumping up of a cinema ticket for usually a three minute set piece that doesn’t usually justify the price hike.
As 3D printing begins to grow more and more stories emerge of the wonders that can be achieved. For example, medical applications have seen lives transformed, with artificial limbs, artificial jaws and bones all designed, constructed and manufactured. Within the automotive world the Detroit motor show showcased a 3D printed vehicle that rather than being conceptual could possibly be reality. As such designers and innovators are all using the limitless scope of 3D printing to help revolutionise the way we make and purchase things.
Now however 3 and D could be the answer to all our problems, and no this is not in the form of the new Superhero movie that will probably also be released in the dreaded format. Over the past few years a 3D revolution has swept the globe with 3D printing being hailed as a manufacturing game changer that will give consumers the power to design, create and print their own products from the comfort of their own living room.
However, 3D printing and the open source software that it relies upon has faced heavy scrutiny and controversy after the technology was
3D: Printing the Future is on at Manchester Science Museum MOSI until September 20 / mosi.org.uk 6
used to create a printed fully working fire arm. Technology that has limitless possibilities must also include (by definition) the possibility of it being exploited. But so far it seems at least, the benefits appear to outweigh the negatives.
innovators when it opens The Making Rooms later this year. The three story technology and digital innovation centre will be equipped with a fabrication lab and 3D technology. Mo Isap Chair of the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) and Blackburn businessman is passionate about the possibilities.
Rowan Wilson co-founder of Hack//Burn a Blackburn based makers’ group has built a 3D printer which he has then used to print the components to make a second.
“We look at our heritage from manufacturing, engineering and the innovation that towns like Blackburn benefited from the industrial revolution to adapt that to the digital revolution. This will really put us on the map to secure our future prosperity.
“As a maker 3D printing is revolutionary, not just because of the speed of printing or the relatively low printing costs when set up, it is the ability to have a prototype or even a fully functioning model created without the need for much work.” “3D printing could be as big as the steam engine, in so much as the steam engine kick started the first industrial revolution, 3D printing could kick start the next. 3D printing to me is the future.”
“We will no longer need to have specialist parts manufactured in the likes of China and the Far East as it can be done here using 3D technology – cities that have embraced this technology that were once in major decline due to the recession are now booming.”
Wanting its share of the 3D revolution Blackburn hopes to give a helping hand to the next generation of
The future, for Blackburn at least is, definitely 3 Dimensional.
For more information on Hack//Burn visit facebook/HACK-BURN 7
A new centre for industrious exploration will make the most of Blackburnâ€™s heritage
“Making” seems to be the buzz word of the moment but few places can say making is in their DNA like Blackburn. The town has twice the national average of people working in manufacturing and around 25 per cent of its jobs are in the manufacturing sector. The Making Rooms set to open this Autumn, will continue this tradition and take it in new directions with three floors devoted to small scale manufacturing, digital innovation and art. Following the renovation of the former bank known as Bentley’s, it will be one of the only facilities of its kind in the country in scale and ambition and similar only to Lime Wharf in the capital.
It has incorporated the best ideas from similar facilities around the world taking its inspiration from projects in Berlin and Copenhagen. Equipped with machinery such as 3D printers and CNC machines such as 3D printers and CNC machinery The Making Rooms will allow anyone who has an idea for a product to test and try it out. The Victoria Street centre will also host a technology hub for new businesses to use as a work space as well as providing courses, events and groups based around digital innovation. One of the aims will be to work with local employers and manufacturers and also offer training in collaboration with school and colleges.
And there will be studios, workshops and exhibition spaces for artists and craftspeople, as well as provision for artist residences for both local and international artists. The project is driven by Blackburn with Darwen Council through its creative regeneration scheme Blackburn is Open backed by Arts Council England. To find out more or get involved in The Making Rooms contact us on /The-Making-Rooms blackburnisopen.co.uk/spaces/the-making-rooms/ @TheMakingRooms
Wallpaper manufacturer and interiors trendsetter Graham & Brown is taking its inspiration from the urban industrial landscape.
Concrete blocks, parquet wood, reclaimed wood and bare brick walls are the type of surfaces you might expect to see in a New York loft or a converted factory but now they’re also staples in millions of homes around the country thanks to Graham & Brown. As homeowners become more design savvy they’re happy to take more style risks and move away from the safer choices according to senior stylist Nina Tarnowski. “If you’d asked me five years ago about the types of people who bought what wallpapers there would be a definite type of person who bought each type. “You might have someone who would buy quite feminine wallpaper, those who bought very modern designs or those
with a more classic style. But now you can’t predict who’s going to buy what. “With the amount of magazines and blogs there are out there you just can’t put people into a category and they’re much more confident in their choices. “ As trends progress and develop Nina and the team of designers at the Blackburn factory work to keep ahead of them and adapt designs accordingly For example, a wood cladding effect can be reinterpreted and in the hands of one of their guest designers, Wayne Hemingway, it becomes stylised even cartoon like in the wallpaper cheekily named Planking. Nina, a former Blackburn college student takes her inspiration from ‘just about everywhere’ including the local landscape.
grahambrown.com/uk @GrahamandBrown 11
Northern Toile which was part of her ‘British Eccentric’ collection captures some of the scenes Blackburnians will be familiar with such as brick terraced housing and canals. She also has at her fingertips a collection of wallpapers she can refer to dating back to the 1940s when the firm was started by friends Harold Graham and Henry Brown. Today the company which features in the CoolBrand UK top 100, is run by a board that includes grandsons Andrew Graham, John Carter and Ian Brown with a team of designers developing and manufacturing the designs on site in Blackburn and nearby Accrington. “The history and heritage of who we are runs through our work and we’re very proud of it.” adds Nina.
Street artist Hayley Welsh makes her â€˜little voiceâ€™ heard in her former hometown.
Hayley Welsh, 29, named by Jetstar magazine as one of ten street artists ‘you should know’ brought her distinct brand of street art to decorate two empty buildings in Blackburn Hayley, who moved to Perth, Australia seven years ago, studied at Blackburn College before graduating from Blackpool with a first in Scientific and Natural History Illustration. She regularly exhibits in Australia and has just completed a tour of the US, from San Francisco to New York, where she painted on found objects along the way, culminating in a final exhibition in the big apple.
Her current work is based on the concept of ‘Little Voices’ inspired by the idea of self-doubt and listening to one’s inner ‘voices’ and emotions. “The characters I paint symbolise the ‘voices’ inside my head – sometimes positive and sometimes negative. But while I work I think about what they mean and whether I should listen to them or not.” However, before heading to the U.S she stopped in Berlin on her artistic tour, and also made street art stops in Manchester and of course Blackburn.
“I think creativity is a great way to get people connecting, especially street art. It brings people together in conversion, and reinforces a sense of pride in the community. “I get such a high from seeing people engage though my paintings and the thought that my art might make someone who is having a rough day smile, really is the thing that drives me to keep on doing what I am doing” And Blackburn didn’t let her down. Her work got a great reception with passers-by and even one resident presenting her with a thank you card for brightening up that part of town. www.hayleywelsh.com
Blackburn is Open’s Creative Director Wayne Hemingway on how creative led regeneration can revive the high street. The Internet has and is changing the world. We can’t go back, nor would most of us want to. Through the likes of Facebook and Instagram we are showing what social creatures we are – we enjoy chatting and meeting fellow humans albeit online. The paradox however is that despite the march of social media, we continue to demonstrate that we enjoy the actual not just the virtual company of others. More people now live in towns and cities than in rural areas and by 2050 it’s predicted this will be around 70 per cent. There is nothing surprising about this. The Roman Forum was a marketplace, but also a place for political exchange, public speaking, procession and commercial affairs – operating as the hub of Roman public life. A place where people would flock to as a place of social and cultural exchange as well as monetary and goods exchange. Herein lies the clue to the future of our high streets, suburban and town centres. They do not have to be thought of as just places to buy goods, but rather as social places where we can celebrate everything that is
great about human interaction – from ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness, to our desire for friendship and discussion. Design can play a significant role here. We need cafés, bars and restaurants to interact with the streets -we only have to look at Parisian streets and the way that cafés allow their customers to watch the world go by. We need streets and districts with sufficient serendipity to encourage people to explore what is round the next corner. We need streets that are pleasing on the eye, where road signs, traffic lights and barriers don’t dehumanize, and where shop fronts and shop signs are attractive, high quality, cohesive, yet unique. We need forward thinking, design savvy, entrepreneurs who understand modern marketing and branding and who understand the value of taking pride in the way shop premises and their content can lift the spirit of the whole neighbourhood. We need the civic generosity that has so excited the public with the Ping! London table tennis tables in the streets initiative, and the street pianos that we saw across Lancashire. And we need
street furniture and lighting that encourages us to linger longer. Over the past few years “arts-led regeneration” or “culture-led regeneration” have become buzz concepts internationally. Most of the parts of cities that I find exciting were once down-at-heel and have since been made exciting by an effective combination of creative and resourceful thinking rather than just having money thrown at them. Most of us want places that give us everything we need to fulfil our lives. Our high streets, and suburban or town centres have to be places that include or are adjacent to decent affordable homes and places we can walk, cycle or take easy public transport to employment. The reason why Hackney in East London is rising is because it is increasingly offering choice. The kebab shops now sit alongside serendipitous cafés and retailers that offer individuality and craft. And long-term maybe the local retailers and artists and designers can link up and together ensure that their high streets and centres can have a vibrant future.
WHEN THE INDEPENDENT FARRELL REVIEW OF ARCHITECTURE AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT (FAR) WAS FIRST PUBLISHED LAST YEAR, ONE OF THE KEY RECOMMENDATIONS OF ITS CHIEF ADVOCATE AND AUTHOR, ARCHITECT SIR TERRY FARRELL, WAS HIS CALL FOR A NEW NATIONWIDE NETWORK OF ‘URBAN ROOMS’. Apart from a small number of survivors from the old Architecture Centre Network, or a few academic initiatives linked to schools of architecture, these did not exist. As such, and amongst other priorities, FAR called for the creation of public venues around the country where “people can go to understand and debate the past, present and future of that place”. So it was in October 2014 that ‘URB’, the UK’s first-ever Urban Room was launched in Blackburn. Several months later, and fifteen other Urban Rooms around the UK are at varying stages of also being launched, and these notably include all of the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds,
Sheffield and Newcastle. Not bad for a small town like Blackburn to be ahead of the pack, but no surprise either as the creative ambitions of the town and it’s Blackburn is Open scheme starts to bear fruit. The inaugural URB OCT 14 programme explored a theme of ‘Hidden Blackburn’ and looked both back in time and forwards. At the symposium held by URB, Blackburn is Open’s creative director Wayne Hemingway called for the town to become a new ‘Capital of Making’ and to pull a collective sense of “generosity” back into its heart. Now Blackburn’s second Urban Room looks to continue this challenging exploration of placemaking, but with a focus on the
theme of ‘Night and Day’: The aim of URB MAY 15 is to debate the social, political and cultural effects leading to the decline of Blackburn’s night time economy and to encourage a resurgence by telling the story through the towns rave generations of the late-80’s to mid-90’s. Sir Terry Farrell has stated that Blackburn and other towns that championed the Urban Room has helped to move forward the FAR recommendations and as a result Urban Room Blackburn was represented at a recent review at the Houses of Parliament. It is precisely this lofty ambition of punching above its weight that Blackburn is Open and the fastexpanding Maker Movement is all about. Ian Banks @AtollUK www.farrellreview.co.uk Ian Banks is an architect and Director of Atoll, his small art and architecture collaborative that partners with artists, designers and other creatives on a range of public realm projects and strategies.
URB / 02
URBAN ROOM : A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT ARCHITECTURE AND THE BUILDINGS, PARKS AND PLACES WHERE THEY LIVE. IT SHOULD BE A PLACE FOR DISCUSSION AND DEBATE ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES OF DESIGN AND WHAT CAN BE ACHIEVED. BUT MOST OF ALL IT SHOULD SHOW PEOPLE HOW THEY CAN INFLUENCE THE DECISIONS THAT ARE MADE.
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2 30 MAY / OPEN TUE TO SAT 10AM 6PM (EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW FRI 1 MAY 5PM 8PM) BLACKBURN IS OPEN / NO.65 KING WILLIAM ST / FREE ENTRY
AN INTERACTIVE EXHIBITION THAT WILL EVOLVE THROUGHOUT THE FESTIVAL LOOKING AT BLACKBURNâ€™S CHANGING FACES DURING THE DIFFERENT TIMES OF THE DAY. When visitors, shoppers and workers give way to revellers, party goers and music fans how does the town change and how does this reflect its history?
The exhibition will look at the buildings and urban spaces in the town and how they are used and what opportunities there are to do things differently.
Share your memories of Blackburn days and nights and enjoy those of others through photography, film and conversation.
There will also be a live demonstration of 3D printing that will see a 3D map of the town created.
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URB / 05
EXHIBITIONS SAT 2 THU 14 MAY / 10AM 6PM NO.63 KING WILLIAM STREET, BLACKBURN FREE ENTRY
UNINTENDED COLOUR FIELDS BY DAVID CAFFREY / A series of photo details taken in Blackburn’s urban environments. Not designed or created to be viewed; they are unconscious colour fields and designs, an organic art that is all around us waiting to be discovered. www.dcaffrey.com / www.dcaffreyphotography.com
SAT 16 THU 21 MAY / 2PM 6PM BENTLEY’S BAR / EXCHANGE STREET, BLACKBURN FREE ENTRY
WAX LYRICAL BY DERREN LEE POOLE / A photographic and audio exploration of the legacy of the 1980s illegal acid house rave culture and its impact on Blackburn and the people who were part of this music movement.
MON 18 SAT 30 MAY / 10AM 6PM NO.63 KING WILLIAM STREET, BLACKBURN FREE ENTRY
CONSTRUCTING COMMUNITIES BY SAM GADD / An exhibition exploring how Blackburn’s growing economy is reflected through its urban landscape.
TUE 2 SUN 7 JUNE / 10AM 6PM NO.63 KING WILLIAM STREET, BLACKBURN FREE ENTRY
NEW YORK TIMES BY BLACKBURN COLLEGE / Ten Blackburn University Centre Photography Degree students capture New York City by day and night. URB / 06
FRI 8 MAY / SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER FRI 15 MAY / QUADROPHENIA FRI 22 MAY / KIDS FRI 29 MAY / A CLOCKWORK ORANGE 7PM / THE BUREAU, VICTORIA ST, BLACKBURN / FREE ENTRY
FILMS / SALAD DAYS
BLACKBURN FILM CLUB CURATES THIS EXPLORATION OF THE HEADY DAYS OF YOUTH. Salad Days will shine a spotlight on the innocent, inexperienced and sometimes wilder behaviour of young people when they venture out at night.
This specially curated collection of films by Blackburn Film Club is entitled Salad Days in reference to Shakespeareâ€™s term for youthful exuberance, a time when night life is especially fresh and exciting.
URB / 07
My salad days, / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood... Antony and Cleopatra, William Shakespeare
DRINK AND DRAW THU 14 MAY / 6.30
10PM / THE BUREAU / £5
FAMILY FRIENDLY DRAWING SESSIONS SAT 16 MAY / 12 3PM / TOWN HALL SQ / FREE SAT 23 MAY / 12 3PM / THE BUREAU / FREE SKETCH AND WALK SESSION THU 28 MAY / 6.30 9PM / MEET AT NO.65 KING WILLIAM ST / £5
DRINK AND DRAW Drink and Draw is an alternative drawing class set in a stunning empty church. This life drawing session with a twist will be held at The Bureau, a beautiful Grade II listed church. Draw the models in different locations and poses taking inspiration from this fantastic building.
FAMILY FRIENDLY DRAWING SESSION Come along and sketch some of Blackburn’s beautiful architecture, and try to capture the hustle and bustle of a busy Blackburn shopping afternoon.
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SKETCH AND WALK SESSION Enjoy a walk around some of the town’s most interesting buildings, inside and out, and sketch what you see on route. From Blackburn’s new £13 million leisure centre to the beautiful museum and art gallery this will take your sketching in new directions.
WED 20 MAY / 5.30PM 9PM THE BUREAU, VICTORIA ST, BLACKBURN FREE ENTRY / BOOKING ESSENTIAL
AN EVENING OF TALKS AND DISCUSSION EXPLORING THE THEME OF THIS MONTH’S POP-UP URBAN ROOM EVENT ‘NIGHT AND DAY’. The symposium will see people from a variety of areas come together including architects, town planners, residents and policy makers all debating the future for Blackburn’s urban landscape.
It will be focused around the topic of Night and Day and the contrasting ways in which a town centre can be used to best meet the needs of the people who live and work in the surrounding areas.
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FRI 29 MAY / 6PM 10PM THE GREEDY FOX / 53 KING WILLIAM ST, BLACKBURN TICKETS £10 FROM BLACKBURNISOPEN.CO.UK
HALLOUMINATE ‘HALLOUMINATE’ COMBINES VEGETARIAN FOOD WITH ENTERPRISE AND BRINGS THE EXCITEMENT OF CROWDFUNDING LITERALLY TO THE TABLE. If you’ve ever fancied yourself as one of the ‘the dragons’ selecting the most tempting investment then this is event is for you. It will combine good food at new cafe The Greedy Fox with the opportunity to award funds to a business or project idea live to the crowd.
This is the first event to take place in Blackburn under the ‘Food Lab’ initiative. ‘Food Lab’ is a concept which promotes food, enterprise, creativity, collaboration and partnership and is about creating social capital in Blackburn. Enterprise ideas are pitched between three delicious courses of vegetarian and middle Eastern cuisine accompanied by live music. During the dessert course, diners will make their final deliberations. A social evening with social purpose.
SUN 7 JUNE / 11AM 3PM KING WILLIAM SQ, BLACKBURN
FOOD, DRINKS & LIVE MUSIC. Join Blackburn’s Big Lunch and meet with friends and neighbours at this summer street party. Local cookery groups will provide delicacies from different cultures and there will be a vegan cookery demonstration.
Social enterprise Chutney for Change will be preparing food from fruit and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste. And there’ll be children’s entertainment, music, face painting, circus skills and recycling art workshops.
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SAT 16 MAY SAT 6 JUN BLACKBURN IS OPEN / 63 65 KING WILLIAM ST, BLACKBURN FREE
URB EXTRAS ART AND CRAFT
FAMILY FRIENDLY ACTIVITES
BIG LUNCH RECYCLING WORKSHOP SAT 16 MAY / 10AM 12.30PM
MINI MAKERS SESSION : HALF TERM 26 30 MAY / 11AM 2PM EACH DAY
BIG LUNCH GARDENING WORKSHOP SAT 6 JUN / 11AM 2PM
Calling all budding architects, builders and town planners! Help us to create one BIG Blackburn sculpture, combining our favourite buildings and streets into a giant group piece of art. Make real and imagined buildings from recycled card/materials as we add to this growing sculpture of our town.
Get your gardening gloves on, because today we will be outside and getting green. Come along and make your own recycled plant holders, bird feeders and other recycled garden gadgets to get you and your garden in gear for a green and growing summer.
Family friendly workshop for all ages! Fuse and reuse recycled plastic bags, bottles and cans to create flowers, bunting and decorations for our community get together the Big Lunch on Sunday 7 June.
TECH IN CONVERSATION NOLOGY BLACKBURN_ PRESENT/FUTURE. 26 30 MAY / 11AM 2PM EACH DAY An evolving 3D model of Blackburn showing how the town centre is and what could be! A pop up 3D printing lab will be set up in the Blackburn is Open shop to recreate our town in miniature. Find out about this exciting new technology that is making waves throughout the technological world. Our lab geeks will show you how to create your own 3D building and how to make your architectural dreams into a 3D model.
WAX LYRIC SAT 16 MAY / 2PM 6PM Music and Memories Come and wax lyric about the acid house days, illegal raves and Blackburnâ€™s changing music culture with some of the key players in the acid house movement in Blackburn. A DJ will play tunes while you reminisce.
URB / 11
NICK DUNN AND CHRIS BYCOK OF LANCASTER INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS IN CONVERSATION FRI 15 MAY / 2PM A discussion around Liveable Cities, a project that considers how to transform the engineering of cities to deliver global and societal wellbeing.
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Public art commission set for Blackburn’s new Leisure Centre is set to launch the careers of two local artists
The pair were brought together by Blackburn is Open and asked to create a public artwork to decorate the building that both reflected and celebrated the town. Working with Blackburn College students they came up with the design, a pattern of geometric shapes inspired by baroque architecture and Islamic tiling.
“Blackburn has a strong mix of culture, so the idea was to capture this without forgetting the industrial heritage of the town,” explains Emma. Sophie told BS&HW that she was ‘chuffed to bits’ with the opportunity to undertake such a prestigious scheme so soon after graduating. “It’s an exciting opportunity that people rarely get.” Blackburn Sports and Leisure Centre / refreshbwd.com
See more of Sophie’s work at sophieskellern.co.uk emcatlow.wix.com/emmamargaret
For graduates Sophie Skellern and Emma Catlow an opportunity to set themselves apart from the herd came in the form of designing a major public art work for the new multi million pound
CIC 22, studied Fine Art at Sophie, ELY ST Blackburn while University College Emma, 21, did Art and Design at Leeds specialising in sculpture.
The wall canvas will sit on the Fielden Street side of the new £13 million building.
It’s that first step on the ladder that is the toughest and anything that can set you apart P can be a bonus.
Blackburn Sports and Leisure Centre.
Many graduates these days will know the feeling that getting that first job after university seems sometimes even harder than completing the degree itself.
David Caffrey’s photography depicts a tale of two cities. David Caffrey is a Blackburn born artist who splits his time between the UK and Los Angeles where he has made a name for himself with his documentary style photography and paintings.
“For example, if you’re on 7th street down town you’ll find the banking district where the architecture is tall elegant and is a statement of money. As you walk along you’ll find it becomes more decrepit and run down with buildings boarded up, outside are drug addicts and hustlers all trying to do what they can to get by.”
He is currently preparing for an exhibition of his architectural photography at an L.A multimedia arts publication, Wolf magazine. It will see his photographs displayed as 8ft brushed metal etched prints.
Since his first visit six years ago the place has made an impression on him and has influenced the way his work has developed.
Primarily a fine artist David says his photography came out of the need to step away from painting and focus on something completely different.
A recent theme explores violence and criminality. “You see a lot of innocent people getting drawn into situations in the darker side of society.”
“I actually do lots of different things to try and distract myself including walking and it was the walking that led to the photography.”
But ultimately he says L.A is a place of contrasts and as a result his feelings about it are mixed.
He finds the contrasts in L.A’s urban environment stark and thought provoking: the vast and sprawling layout and the variations between ‘badly made shacks to high end Frank Gehry masterpieces’.
“It’s like holding a magnifying glass up to society and all that is good and bad with humanity, you have extreme greed and big corporations, gang violence and extreme poverty, but you also have opportunities to succeed, a sense of community, thoughtfulness and kindness within a lot of the people.”
“Like any city there are different tribes of people and the architecture reflects the social grouping of a district.
davidcaffrey.com / @DavidCaffreyArt 16
Thursday, May 14 DRINK & DRAW
Thursday, June 11 DRINK & DRAW
Alternative life drawing session. The Bureau, Victoria Street, 7-9:30pm (doors at 6:30pm) £5 /drinkanddrawblackburn @drinkanddrawblackburn
Alternative life drawing session. The Bureau, Victoria Street, 7-9:30pm (doors at 6:30pm) £5 /drinkanddrawblackburn @drinkanddrawblackburn
Friday 15 May STORYTELLING IN PYJAMAS – MUSEUMS AT NIGHT
Saturday, June 13 PILGRIMAGE/ CHAPTER 2 // GATES OF VALHALLA
Dress up in your pyjamas, bring your teddy! Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Museum St, 6-7pm, Free 01254 667130 email@example.com
Indoor festival in the former St Johns’ Church headliners Dub Smugglers. DJs, circus performers, stalls, themed rooms and pop up cinema cinema, 9pm – late
Friday, May 15 – Saturday, May 16 BLACKBURN PRINTFEST
Thursday, June 18 – Tuesday, June 30 SONNY J. BARKER ASSEMBLAGES
Print festival showcasing the best printmakers from around the UK. The Bureau, Victoria Street. Friday 6.30pm-Late. Saturday 10am-7pm. Free.
All Around Us
Using found materials such as wood, signage and images to coincide with Country Comes to Town. The Bureau, Victoria Street
Thursday, May 21 ArtSPACE
Thursday, June 19 ArtSPACE
A monthly meet up for creatives. The Bureau, Victoria Street, 6.30pm-10pm, £3 firstname.lastname@example.org
A monthly meet up for creatives. The Bureau, Victoria Street, 6.30pm-10pm, £3 email@example.com
Saturday, May 23 GET INVOLVED
Friday, June 19 COUNTRYSIDE COMES TO TOWN AT THE BUREAU
Open event to find out more about The Bureau and how to get involved. The Bureau, Victoria Street, 11-2pm. firstname.lastname@example.org
All Around Us
Indoor beer garden and real ale festival with locally brewed beers and ciders and live music. The Bureau, Victoria Street. 6pm-Late. £5
Saturday, May 23 FRIENDS OF THE BUREAU GROUP MEETING
Saturday, June 20 COUNTRYSIDE COMES TO TOWN BEER AT THE BUREAU
Meeting for anyone interested in volunteering at Blackburn’s newest arts venue, The Bureau, Victoria Street. 2.15-3.15pm email@example.com
Enjoy a taste of the countryside with a farmer’s market and real ale bar. Live music, ‘make and take’ workshops for children. The Bureau, Victoria Street. 10am–6pm. Free Entry
Saturday, June 20 Sunday, June 21 SUMMER SOLSTICE MID SUMMER’S NIGHT DREAM
Thursday, July 9 DRINK & DRAW Alternative life drawing session. The Bureau, Victoria Street, 7-9.30pm (doors at 6.30pm) £5 /drinkanddrawblackburn @drinkanddrawblackburn
Live music and dancing until dawn. The Bureau, Victoria Street. 6pm-Late. £8
Thursday, July 16 Art SPACE
Sunday, June 21 LAZY SUNDAY AFTERNOON
Drink & Draw Doodlism
A monthly meet up for creatives. The Bureau, Victoria Street, 6.30pm-10pm, £3 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday afternoon chill out. The Bureau, Victoria Street. 1pm. Free entry. Saturday, June 27 GET INVOLVED
Thursday, July 23 – Wednesday, August 5 (open Mon-Fri 11am - 4.30pm) ALL AROUND US
Open event for people wanting to find out more about The Bureau and how to get involved. The Bureau, Victoria Street. 11-2pm. email@example.com
Landscape Exhibition. Up to 20 artists exhibiting in paint, print and sculpture. The Bureau, Victoria Street firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, June 27 FRIENDS OF THE BUREAU GROUP MEETING
Saturday, July 25 GET INVOLVED
The Bureau, Victoria Street. 2.15-3.15pm email@example.com
Open event to find out more about The Bureau and how to get involved. The Bureau, Victoria Street, 11-2pm. firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday, July 25 FRIENDS OF THE BUREAU GROUP MEETING The Bureau,Victoria Street. 2.15-3.15pm email@example.com Thursday, August 6 – Wednesday, August 19 JONATHAN HUGHES - DOODLISM Doodle drawings and paintings by Jonathan David Hughes. The Corridor Gallery, The Bureau.
Further details at
ECHO & THE BUNNY MEN
Saturday, May 2, 8pm ALAN CARR
Friday, May 22, 7pm ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN
Friday, November 27, 8pm BEARDYMAN
No stranger to yap Alan Carr will be yapping his way around the UK & Ireland with his brand new stand up show ‘Yap, Yap, Yap!’
Eighties indie heroes whose majestic song writing haunted a generation of bedsits and student pads.
The vocal shaman emits and manipulates any conceivable sound with a manic wit that will have you rocking with laughter and shaking your tail feather.
Saturday, May 2, 10pm CRAIG CHARLES
Saturday, August 14, 8pm JIMMY CARR
One of the UK’s best loved Soul and Funk DJs, and the host of BBC 6 Music prime time Saturday Night Funk and Soul Show. Craig Charles brings you the best there is in Soul and Funk mixed in with a little Acid Jazz and a healthy dose of Northern Soul.
Jimmy Carr returns with his new tour Funny Business. Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24 BILL BAILEY Bill returns to the road with his new tour, Limboland, the subject of which is the gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are.
Saturday, November 28, 8pm AN EVENING WITH NOEL FIELDING Noel Fielding is embarking on his first live tour in five years. Expect a magical mix of Noel’s unique brand of stand-up comedy, live animation, music and some of Fielding’s best known TV characters.
BOOKINGS: 0844 847 1664
Placebo King Georges Hall, Blackburn Saturday, March 7
Back when they first emerged in the mid-90s Placebo always seemed the slightly fragile, sensitive types so it’s genuinely impressive that nearly 20 years on (2016 marks the band’s big China anniversary) not only are they still standing but they’ve also achieved a longevity and distinguished career that many of their Brit-rock peers of the time failed to match. What’s equally impressive is that 20 years on they’ve still new audiences to reach as tonight’s debut show in Blackburn, in the grand surrounds of the ballroom at King George’s Hall, proves. The former three piece, now swollen to six with backing members, stride out on stage backed by a remix of ‘Pure Morning’ to a hero’s welcome;
the Blackburn crowd lapping up what is another fine example of King George’s Hall’s recent run of genuine big hitters attracted to the venue. Launching into opener ‘B3’ the band sink into their usual blend of silky atmospherics and taught pounding rock with aplomb, moving through the gears on ‘For What It’s Worth’ and ‘Loud Like Love’ like the well-oiled machine two decades of touring has turned them into. The four backing members swell out the sound perfectly but the main chemistry onstage belongs to the band’s longest serving and only remaining original members – singer/guitarist Brian Molko and bass player/guitarist Stefan Olsdal.
The two have been through it all together and are able to spin an intuitive musical dance on stage dominated by years of experience. With their instruments locked together in perfect synch they and their band mates summon a natural and compelling musical force none more evident than on the likes of ‘Bitter End’, ‘Meds’ and Kate Bush cover ‘Running Up That Hill’. And whilst more songs from the band’s early career would have been a bonus – only ‘I Know’ and ‘Every You Every Me’ satiating that desire tonight is as much a reminder of Placebo’s continued relevance and hunger as it is a stroll down memory lane. Review by Chris Hidden @ChrisHidden
TALKIN BOUT A REVOLUTION Join SuperSlowWay as it kickstarts a creative revolution
In less than a century the Leeds & Liverpool canal revolutionised the Lancashire towns and villages that sat along its route.
As a vital trading and communications mechanism it brought wealth and status to the area. Super Slow Way (SSW) inspired by the canal network is a £2 million cultural programme backed by Arts Council England, the Canal & Rivers Trust and other partners that will spark collaborations between communities and world class artists. Running over three years and working with communities from Blackburn to Pendle it will aim to start a creative revolution says project director Laurie Peake. Laurie who has been responsible for commissioning some spectacular public art including Antony Gormley’s Another Place talked to BS&HW about SSW.
BS&HW / Tell us a little bit more about where the name Super Slow Way come from? LP / It takes its name from a poem about the Leeds & Liverpool Canal by Ian McMillan who was the Canal & River Trust’s poet laureate in 2012: ‘Super High Way, Super Wet Way, Super Low Way, Super Slow Way’. The idea is to capture the contrast between what the canal was, a global trading hub, and what it is today - a place of tranquility where nature has taken over. It’s also about reflecting its role as part of the new super highway: the internet, as fibreoptic cables run along the canal’s towpath once again connecting it to the rest of the world
The canal is 200 years old next year and we also shouldn’t underestimate how it transformed this area and made it what it is, with massive mills, miles of workers’ housing, grandiose town halls, theatres, pubs and shops. BS&HW / What is the aim behind the project aside from, of course, creating some great art?
The canal revolutionised Pennine Lancashire and Super Slow Way wants to see if we can start a new, creative revolution, offering opportunities to spend our time more imaginatively through cultural activity and introducing people to new possibilities.
LP / We want to involve more people in arts by inviting artists to work with residents along the canal’s length responding to three major themes: manufacturing industry, the natural environment and the digital world.
Turning the Place Over
BS&HW / You’ve worked on canal based projects previously, tell us a bit about them? LP / At Liverpool Biennial I managed a programme along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal - Urbanism 2009. It came out of the realisation that this vital green/blue lung in what many mistakenly perceived as an area of urban decay could be its route to transformation. The projects that resulted included repurposing an abandoned school, installing a sculptural observation tower, bringing a fleet of swan pedaloes to the canal and teaching 800 children to canoe. I’ve also worked on a project on the L.A River in Los Angeles. It’s being brought back to life by artists to aid in the regeneration and used as a vehicle for cultural and social engagement, bringing communities together who may otherwise not recognise each other as neighbours.
BS&HW / Do you think that art can affect the way people feel about a place, particularly urban environments? LP / Definitely and particulary if it’s developed in collaboration and with consideration for the people that live there. At the end of Urbanism 2009, the police reported a hundred per cent drop in incidents of anti-social behaviour in the area; it changed attitudes and relationships to the space. In fact I was very lucky at the Liverpool Biennial to work on a range of public art projects that had transformative effects. Another Place put Crosby Beach on the map and Turning the Place Over by Richard Wilson literally turned an abandoned office building inside out and enlivened the whole street. It was amazing to see how it totally changed the atmosphere and lifted spirits.
BS&HW / What’s next for Super Slow Way? LP / We’re launching an open call for ideas with a roadshow touring libraries across Pennine Lancashire. We want to encourage anyone who has an idea to come and talk through what might be possible. In addition, we’ll be working with communities to commission artists and there’ll be several larger scale projects that allow for mass participation. We hope they’ll result in high profile, high impact events to attract and involve large audiences. Finally, there’ll be artist residencies, for example, it might see an international artist coming to live on your street for a year or say an artist working with a manufacturing company – the possibilities are endless.
facebook.com/superslowway / @Superslowway 26
CATALYSTS FOR CHANGE Architect Philip Thorton reflects on the key catalysts for change in urban regeneration. Darwen born architect Philip Thornton has worked on architectural schemes all over the world including at Terence Conran’s design practice, Conran & Partners and more recently as a director of his own studio, Etc Urban. Closer to home his work includes apartments at Media City and the Light Aparthotel in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
ARTISTS AND STUDENTS
Interventions in grittier urban sites make for some of the best places. When we think of the places that inspire us as urban designers and architects it’s quite often not the polished modern environments or buildings like say the Guggenheim. In urban environments the existing buildings and context are the inspiration, weaving in and around them often produces the best results. It’s about the character of a place.
In both these places the energy of the local inhabitants is what’s driving the change and the people with the energy and the ideas are the young people. The pace of change picks up when artists and students start to interact with their town. By opening up the derelict buildings and sites to them, getting them together and involved in change is one of the ways forward.
PEOPLE POWER Great places are about the people in them. Look at what happened in Berlin in the 90’s. The dereliction and the poverty of the east of the city provided a perfect starting point for people led restoration through thousands of tiny interventions. When I was there in the 90’s little dive bars were springing up wherever there was an empty space. People made the most of the urban decay on shoestring budgets. Or similarly now in Detroit, where among the abandoned buildings there is a thriving youth scene.
CHEAP PAYS A mixed use area of living/ working and eating/drinking like Manchester’s Northern Quarter or the Meat Packing district in New York is key. Cheap and affordable and with plenty of existing run down, character building stock. ACHIEVABLE – AFFORDABLE AND USEFUL Good design motivates people. A perfect example in Blackburn for example is the new Youth Zone building. A dynamic, contemporary environment for young people, centrally located. etcurban.co.uk @etcurbanltd
The Urban Room Issue