Teenagers expand their creative horizons in Lancaster and Morecambe

Giant inflatables have been popping up in Morecambe as part of an initiative to encourage young people to be creative.

A Now You See It giant inflatable created by young people appears outside Morecambe's famous Midland Hotel.
A Now You See It giant inflatable created by young people appears outside Morecambe's famous Midland Hotel.

Now You See It is a project specially commissioned for a cultural and creative education programme run by Lancaster District Cultural Education Partnership(Culture Co-op); Lancaster University, Curious Minds and Lancashire Youth Challenge(LYC).

Art and design students from Lancaster & Morecambe College worked with site specific artist Steve Messam exploring ideas for the transformation of their local environment.

And the result was giant inflatable landscapes which have popped up at various locations including outside the Midland Hotel and the Old Pier Bookshop in Morecambe.

A giant inflatable pops up at a Morecambe bookshop as part of the Now You See It project.

LMC lecturer, John Lambert who is leading the project, said: “The students are not only getting to work alongside a professional artist gaining insight into how big projects are developed and realised, but are also learning new skills, developing team working and have the opportunity to present their work in a very public environment.

The work produced hopes to make people look again at familiar environments and consider them differently, noticing new things and imagining new possibilities.”

Another element of the cultural and creative education programme is Brain Hacks led by professional photographer, Ginny Koppenhol.

This phone photography project will take place at Our Lady’s Catholic College in Lancaster where students will learn phone photography skills and creative techniques to produce daily images focusing on positive mental health and resilience. The results will be reproduced in a book.

The third commission is a postcard initiative involving Lancaster University and other organisations working with secondary school pupils in Morecambe to look at old postcards of the resort and compare the images to how the town is now and what it might look like in the future.

An important part of the overall project, focused on using creativity as a tool to support positive mental health and wellbeing, are Re-Create Challenge Packs distributed to teenagers at schools and colleges including Central Lancaster High, Carnforth High, Chadwick High and Aspire students at Lancaster & Morecambe College.

The packs are full of activities specially designed by artists and organisations across the district and include film-making, curating a mini exhibition, song writing, photography, crafts and singing.

The cultural and creative programme began in 2020 as a two-year funded initiative and is one element of a wider three-year programme entitled Our Place In The World, designed and run by the Lancaster-based LYC.