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New illumination designed by young people

Young people, Liverpool based artist Laurence Payot and Blackpool Council staff have teamed up to create a brand new illumination. The newest addition to the famous illuminations is situated in front of North Pier close to the Cenotaph and invites it’s admirers to carry out different actions underneath it.

If you’re feeling a bit cold, you could have a group hug! Ask a yes or no question, or be left waiting for the answer.

The young people from the Blaze project chose the French artist, winner of the SkyArts Ignition: Futures Fund, to work with them to build the concept and ideas for the new illumination. Payot worked with the group in a series of design workshops leading them through the process and intricacies of producing interactive artwork for the public realm. Members of Blackpool Council’s Illuminations team were also on hand to offer their wealth of expertise and give the group advice throughout the process.

On coming to Blackpool, Payot was instantly overwhelmed by the volume of instructions and advice Blackpool gives through signage and announcements, saying:

Walking around Blackpool, I was constantly called in with flashing words and signs to experience the best time of my life – from ‘the tastier take away’ signs to ‘the world’s best thrills’, promises of finding the truth on a palm reading booth to authoritative road signs, win/spin/insert’ instructions in amusement arcades to ‘love where you live’ Blackpool’s promotion’s campaign.

Kirsty Mah, on of the young people involved in the project, is thrilled to have had the chance to get involved in the design of an illumination, she said:

I have grown up with the Illuminations, visiting every year and it is amazing to think I have helped create a really cool and exciting Illumination. It makes me feel very proud.

Kirsty and the eight other young people started working with Payot in February this year and were also involved in organising Under The Town Festival, for young people which took place at the Grundy Art Gallery in August as part of the Blaze project.

Blaze is an ambitious youth led culture and sport programme, a Blackpool Council and Lancashire County Council partnership since 2010, which is managed in Blackpool by the Arts Service.

To find out more visit www.facebook.com/underthetown or www.blazeonline.org.uk/underthetown

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