The Mersey Gateway Project

Talented youngsters display bridge artwork at Widnes Library

September 16, 2016MerseylinkNews

Local youngsters are showcasing their artistic talents in a new exhibition dedicated to the Mersey Gateway Project.

The display at Widnes Library features the artwork of pupils from nine primary schools who have been working with professional artists on creative projects linked to Halton’s new river crossing.

The exhibition is free to attend and is open to the public until Saturday 15 October 2016.

Pupils from St Gerard’s RC Primary School enjoyed a visit to the Creative Connections arts exhibition at Widnes Library

It forms part of the Creative Connections arts programme, which was set up by Halton Borough Council in partnership with Accent Music Education Hub and construction joint venture Merseylink to get youngsters thinking imaginatively about the new bridge.

The council’s Arts Development Officer, Louise Hesketh, said: “This fantastic arts programme gives pupils the opportunity to work with a professional artist and develop creative work linked to the iconic construction project that is unfolding on our doorstep.

“Every primary school in Halton has the chance to get involved and can choose from a variety of art forms such as dance, drama, music, creative writing or visual arts. It really is the chance of a lifetime for local schools.”

Creative Connections artwork on display in Widnes Library

Halebank C of E Primary School teamed up with artist Georgina Ridehalgh to make textile pieces based on the environment. The children used thread, fabrics and fabric pens to produce three beautiful wall hangings.

Widnes Academy West Bank also chose to work with Georgina on a local history project. The children produced a series of collages depicting the buildings and bridges at West Bank.

Westfield Primary School and Halton Lodge Primary School created their very own mini bridge models with support from Fiona and Neil Osborne at One Red Shoe, who specialise in unique murals and artwork.

Pupils at St Gerard’s Catholic Primary School and St Bede’s Catholic Infant School became budding filmmakers with help from Handstand Films. The youngsters were able to get hands-on with the video equipment, learning how to operate the camera, set the lights, record sound and work together as a crew. St Bede’s made a film about water, while St Gerard’s production is called ‘Crossing the river’.

Woodside Primary School took part in guerilla art and yarn bombing projects with artist Nicola McGovern. This included finger knitting, weaving, foil cutting and 3D sculpture to make flowers, a sun, clouds, raindrops, a rainbow, flying birds and insects. Pupils also made wildflower seed bombs, which they distributed in the local area.

Simms Cross Primary School chose to work with book artist Kate Bufton. The children recycled old books and photographs, decorating them with patterns to create book sculptures based on the theme of construction.

Artist Jojo Gleave helped children at Lunt’s Heath Primary School to create a timeline of the River Mersey starting with the Viking settlement of Ethelfleda and continuing through the ages. The artwork was produced using mixed media with 3D elements and collages.

Neil Wilcock, Employment and Skills Coordinator for Merseylink, said: “The arts initiative is proving extremely popular with local schools and I’m delighted to see so many youngsters engaging with the Mersey Gateway Project in such a unique way. This is the second exhibition that has opened since the programme first launched and once again the creative work that has been produced by the children really is outstanding.”

Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “It is fantastic to see so many young people taking part in the project. It will really help them get to know the history around the Mersey Gateway, which will be part of their lives and their children’s lives for generations.”

For more information contact Louise Hesketh, Arts Development Officer, on 0151 511 8194 or email

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