AN ART installation, which has aimed to capture the voices of local people during the pandemic, has finally gone on display.

Art Gene’s ‘Eight Words for Barrow’ was yesterday revealed on the corner of Bath Street and Abbey Road after a five month competition calling for residents’ thoughts and feelings on the current crisis.

The Mail:

Twenty favourites, selected from more than 180 entries by Art Gene directors Maddi Nicholson and Stuart Bastik are now on display outside Art Gene’s building.

“We were delighted with the sheer number and variety of the entries, and it was not an easy task to select only 20 for the installation,”said Art Gene’s director Maddi Nicholson.

The Mail:

“These 20 include entries from people of all walks of life, adults, children artists and writers whose words inspired us, made us laugh and most importantly make us think.

“We hope people will come to see the exhibition from the street whilst staying safe and observing social distancing.”

The Mail:

The inspiration for the installation came at the beginning of lockdown earlier this year, when the billboards at Hollywood Park roundabout were papered over in bright blue.

“The Hollywood Park roundabout with all the big billboards on it suddenly went blue,” said Ms Nicholson.

The Mail:

“They took all the advertising away and papered it over and that seemed amazing.

“We thought what would the eight words be perhaps that would go up instead?

“And that’s what sparked the idea.

“We couldn’t buy the billboards so we’ve done a protest like installation showing some of the winning entries.”

The Mail:

Of the 20 entries selected, 13 prize-winners in the four categories of adults, children, teenagers and humour, will receive a framed print of their ‘8 Words’ created digitally on the billboards.

The Mail:

Winners will be announced at an online prize giving, on October 22, 5.30pm – 6:30pm via Zoom. The prints will be presented by Helen Wall, deputy mayor for Barrow-in-Furness, and published Walney poet Kate Davis, who has recently appeared on BBC Radio 4.

All entries to the competition will also be shown as a digital artwork, via Art Gene’s website and social media platforms.The public will be able to vote for their favourite in the People’s Choice award, via Art Gene’s Facebook page.