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Artists find a new platform
11:51am Friday 28th September 2012 in News
WHILE having a chat over a coffee a few years ago, a group of St Helens artists realised they all had a similar picture painted within their heads.
They wanted to create a network of local artists and studios in the town where they could maximise their talent and creativity.
Meetings for the artists’ network began at the Mash Gallery in Haydock Street.
Initially, the group used ‘pop-up studios’ around the town in order to promote awareness and interest.
The campaigned focussed on the struggling state of town centres across the north west, in particular St Helens.
The small group saw that there was a large amount of empty shops and offices within the town, yet they still remained without adequate space to work.
Support came from council and arts service when a proposal was put together outlining what the group could bring to the town as a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation.
Earlier this year, the group’s dream became a reality as they established a studio at an office space above St Mary’s Market and ‘Platform Studios’ was born.
‘Platform’ is now the official name for the St Helens artist network and the group has been overwhelmed with interest since the space was acquired.
Six artists work within the studios, and another 12 are on a waiting list.
Altogether the network associate membership has grown more than 70.
Multimedia artist Joan Birkett, from Sutton, one of the founders of ‘Platform’ told the Star: “It’s been an amazing year, we’ve gained so much support from everyone around St Helens.
“The Council and the Arts Network has been brilliant in helping us promote our work. “The exhibition in Liverpool has also been great for us, we really appreciate the support we have received.”
Work from the network is currently being displayed in an exhibition in Liverpool running until this Friday, September 28 at the Baltic Creative on Jamaica Street.
As well as this, the group has a variety of upcoming events which with showcase the vast artistic talent St Helens has to offer.
To find out more about the group and events, visit their website at platformsthelens.co.uk