A stunning piece of art, illustrating the community spirit shown in Blackburn during the pandemic, has been installed in the heart of the town centre.
Award-winning artist Alexandra Gallagher, who was closely involved with the Blackburn Open Walls project, was tasked with creating a piece of digital artwork to reflect how Blackburn has responded to COVID-19.
The highly detailed installation was commissioned by Blackburn BID and The Mall. The work has been printed on to boarding and installed by Blackburn BID member Parkinson Signs in the area known as the ‘bike sheds’ adjacent to Lord Street West.
Speaking about the images, Alexandra said: “I was asked to create a piece of art that reflects how the pandemic has affected Blackburn.”
The large-scale work took just two weeks to create, and features rainbows and symbols of hope, diversity and change.
Alexandra said: “Blackburn has a reputation for being segregated – but I don’t think that’s the case. The community in Blackburn has really tried and support each other when it matters the most.”
Alexandra, who lives in Mellor, added: “I have used the colour yellow quite prominently. It’s the colour of the #loveforthelost yellow ribbon campaign, and also the colour symbolising friendship.
“It’s adding those subtlety and symbolism. People can gain different interpretations from my work.
“It’s great to see it in position. I really hope the artwork makes lots of people smile.”
Catherine Price, Blackburn BID Manager, is thrilled with the installation.
“In partnership with The Mall and Blackburn with Darwen Council we have been working on improving the area known as the Bike Sheds.
“As part of the project, and on the basis that Blackburn town centre has some amazing public art already, we wanted to commission some positive, uplifting artwork which marks the impact of COVID-19 on the Blackburn community, and which can become a ‘must-see’ on a visit to the town centre.
“Alexandra’s artwork is exceptional and Parkinson Signs’ installation has really done it justice. I’m so proud of this area of the town centre and I hope people will come and enjoy the artwork when the town centre starts to reopen.”
Loraine Jones, General Manager for The Mall, said: “In previous years we have worked with artist Alexandra Gallagher on the open walls project. She had created some beautiful pieces of artwork on the outside of our building and throughout the town centre.
“When we talked about collaboratively commissioning an artist for this project, we knew she would create something that our community would enjoy.
“This is a wonderful piece of artwork with the installation being ‘a main focal point’ for the area.”