Bright days ahead for Preston’s Harris

Martin Creed Work No. 203 EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT 1999 White neon 1.6 x 42.6 ft / 0.5 x 13 m Installation at The Portico, Linscott Road, London, UK, 1999 Commissioned by Ingrid Swenson Photo: Hugo Glendinning
Martin Creed Work No. 203 EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT 1999 White neon 1.6 x 42.6 ft / 0.5 x 13 m Installation at The Portico, Linscott Road, London, UK, 1999 Commissioned by Ingrid Swenson Photo: Hugo Glendinning
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The last 12 months may have been tough, but everything will be fine.

That’s what Prestonians are to be told, when a giant neon sign is installed on the front of the Harris.

Everything Is Going To Be Alright will be beamed down from the Grade I listed building, to tie in with an exhibition beginning later this month and running until June.

And psychologists say the positive message may be enough to lift people’s spirits.

Sir Cary Cooper, professor of psychology and health at Manchester Business School, said: “I’m not sure if it will have an impact, but the thing about it is people are feeling really unsure about a range of events globally like Brexit, Trump and everything else.

“When you have a lot of uncertainty I think you need as much positivity as you can get.

“And I think it may give people some of ‘don’t worry’ and ‘it’s not life and death’ - it’s politics and yes it may have consequences but it’s not about somebody in your family having a life-threatening illness.

“You have to put it into perspective and in the end it will stabilise and will be ok. It’s about that positive message and I think that might have a positive affect for some people - but not for everybody.”

The installation will coincide with an exhibition at the Harris by Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed.

Listed building consent has been granted for the artwork beneath the pediment of the Harris, over the existing lettering which reads To Literature, Arts and Sciences.

A report from officers said it was considered acceptable for a temporary period and would not have a detrimental impact on the integrity of the Grade I listed building.