Kick Down the Barriers Exhibition at Blackburn Museum

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Over the past 12 months, local artists and writers have been working in and with the communities of Blackburn to redefine the labels of ‘segregation’ and ‘division’ that have been put onto them by national press and media channels.

This has taken place through a project called Kick Down the Barriers, led by Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery. An exhibition showcasing all of this fantastic new artwork is opening to the public at Blackburn Museum on Wednesday 30th September for two months.

Project artists include photographer Karen Mathison, Blackburn College tutor and lifelong resident of Ewood, who over the past year has been researching and photographing the hidden communities of Mill Hill and Ewood; shining a light onto the unsung heroes of the areas that have supported their communities enormously during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Also exhibiting are artists Jamie Holman and Sana Maulvi who met when Sana Enrolled as a student on the Fine Art Degree at Blackburn University Centre where Jamie is the programme leader.

They were commissioned to write a series of letters to one another exploring the roots of their friendship and highlighting some of the prejudices and stereotypes they both reflect on and remember. A video performance that shows the pair reading out their letters to an online audience is on display within the exhibition.

Recent Graduate and Project Assistant Lydia McCaig secured her first job with Kick Down the Barriers after graduating from BA Fine Art at Blackburn University Centre last year.

Lydia said: "The opportunity to work on this project has been amazing, especially as the project’s ethos is one that I care a lot about. I love being from Blackburn and I don't agree with the labels the town has been given by the media.

"I hope that the exhibition will help to show people what Blackburn is really like, as a place where everyone helps each other out and gets along just fine. It's also great to see how much talent there is locally, as most of the project’s commissions are Blackburn people and the artwork produced is just incredible.”

The exhibition spans six of the galleries inside the museum and includes poetry, performance, video, painting, collage, photography and installation work. Blackburn Museum is open every Wednesday to Saturday between 12pm to 4:45pm and the exhibition is on until the end of November.

29 Sep 2020, 13:18 PM