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Heart of Glass awarded National Lottery Heritage Fund grant for a new arts project celebrating ‘strong women’ of Knowsley and St Helens

Heart of Glass awarded National Lottery Heritage Fund grant for a new arts project celebrating ‘strong women’ of Knowsley and St Helens

We are delighted to announce that Heart of Glass has been awarded a grant of £95,998 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, to develop a new art project called “Strong Women” over the next two years.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, it aims to capture and highlight the untold stories of women in St Helens and Knowsley and celebrate their contributions to the boroughs. It will also explore women’s and LGBTQIA+ people’s role within the history of street art.

The project will include the creation of two new public artworks by artist Carrie Reichardt. Carrie is an internationally known artist who uses a mix of mural, mosaic and screenprinting techniques to create elaborate works of art (famously mosaicing her entire house in London). She will be working with the community to create two new pieces of large scale street art within St Helens and Knowsley neighbourhoods.

Carrie will be working with groups of local residents and community groups to create individual ceramic tiles as well as researching local history and unearthing people’s stories to develop the artwork. There will be an opportunity for a local artist to be mentored by Carrie as part of the programme, as well as a programme of public events and activities exploring women and LGBTQ+ people’s impact within the traditionally male-dominated world of street art. The project will also include a schools programme including resources for teachers exploring street art with children.

Angharad Willams, Heart of Glass’ Head of Programme for Heart of Glass’ Creative People and Places said:
“We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players. Like many places, St Helens or Knowsley lacks major public art which celebrates women, and especially working class women. By working long term with communities and with an exceptional artist like Carrie we hope to shift perspectives and publicly celebrate women’s roles both within the boroughs and their communities.”

Artist Carrie Reichardt said:
“After our initial community consultation in St Helens, I was so impressed by all the women I met  – the mothers, the community  leaders, councillors and more that I really wanted to make a mural that celebrated the achievements and ‘herstory’  of all the strong women I have met or read about.  I am excited to be working with locals to make their own special ceramic hearts for those they love and include them in a large ceramic mural in Parr, St Helens.”

Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are delighted to support this transformative project that will celebrate the heritage of women and LGBTQIA+ people in St Helens and Knowsley. It will be great to see the history of these empowering local people, who have paved the way for social change, shared with the wider community through a fantastic public art and engagement programme.”

The programme will start in St Helens, with the development of a new piece of public art for Parr unveiled in summer 2023, before moving on to Knowsley in 2024.

The project follows on from five murals we commissioned in Parr and St Helens town centre that were developed by artists Faunagraphic, Nomad Clan, Billy Colours and Fandangoe Kid in 2021 and 2022. Each mural was created in collaboration with communities in Parr including Holy Spirit Primary School, SHAP housing residents, and women from CGL, and supported by Arts Council England, Torus Housing and St Helens Council.

The Strong Women programme is made possible by money raised by National Lottery players distributed through The National Lottery Heritage  Fund. It forms part of Heart of Glass’ Arts Council England supported Creative People and Places programme. With additional support from Torus Foundation.