When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Student from Blackburn to blaze a trail for artists
4:38pm Friday 15th February 2013 in News
VISITING Cape Town in South Africa inspired 20-year-old student Sophie Skellern to create an international art trail in the Blackburn centre.
She persuaded designers, students and illustrators in both countries to contribute to a visual extravaganza using empty shops, the museum, the market and Mercer’s toy store.
The walk-round exhibition next month has been organised by Sophie and fellow student Jessye Curtis, from Clitheroe.
It will be called Kaart, the Afrikaans word for map, and will feature work by 30 Blackburn College members, and former and current students of the Cape Town University of Technology.
They include recent CPUT graduates, award-winning illustrators Roger Williams and Loyiso Mkize, as well as designers in the South African Piece Industries co-operative.
Fine art student Sophie, who comes from Walsall, came up with the idea after visiting Cape Town last year with Blackburn College.
She said: “The visit was inspiring and I saw a whole different sort of art. It really opened my eyes and I wanted to so something with this art in Blackburn.
There was a lot of poverty in Cape Town and I saw some quite hard hitting things.
“So I thought it would be interesting to see the work of artists living with those kind of problems in their community here.
“I wanted to get local people involved and interacting with the exhibition, especially those who maybe haven’t travelled very widely and get them experiencing something new.”
The project is the latest in a series of initiatives being backed by Blackburn with Darwen Council to re-use empty properties.
Borough culture boss Damian Talbot said: “Something like this brings people into the town, creates a vibrant atmosphere and makes a positive use of empties properties that are, unfortunately, a common sight on high streets these days.”