St Helens Council-commissioned projects to feature at major LGBTQIA+ arts festival

Two projects, commissioned by St Helens Borough Council’s Arts in Libraries team, will feature at the UK's longest running LGBTQIA+ arts and culture festival.

Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 11:28 am
Updated Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 11:32 am
'Pattern of Play’ – a tribute to St Helens footballing legend, Lily Parr will be exhibited at Homotopia in Liverpool

‘Pattern of Play’ – a tribute to St Helens footballing legend, Lily Parr – and ‘4:3’ - a short film about growing up queer in the 1990s - will both be exhibited at Homotopia, held annually in Liverpool from October 29 to November 15.

St Helens Borough’s Arts in Libraries team - an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation - has commissioned North-West based illustration artist, Millie Chesters, to make a series of images of St Helens footballing legend, Lilly Parr, known for her powerful kick and strong personality.

Lily was also open about being lesbian long before the UK’s decriminalisation of homosexuality and carried on playing football despite the FA’s 1921 ruling against women playing on affiliated grounds in the UK.    

These images will be available to view online at from October 29 and postcards will be available in selected libraries - and delivered to members of the home delivery service.

Meanwhile, the Arts in Libraries team has collaborated with St Helens-based arts organisation, Heart of Glass, to co-commission free-to-watch video, 4:3, by Amy Pennington which explores what it was like growing up queer in the 1990’s when 4:3 was the standard TV ratio. Additionally, there will be a one-off online workshop on November 3 exploring memories, TV idols and representation.

St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Leisure, Libraries and Heritage, Councillor Anthony Burns, said: “As a council we are committed to celebrating and raising awareness of our LGBTQIA+ community; holding events like St Helens Pride, which was nominated for a regional award in its first year last year; and campaigns like #BetterThanThat to stand united against hate crimes against people, purely because of who they are, who they love, where they are from, or what they believe in.

"St Helens Library Service has recently been rated strong by Arts Council England in relation to their Creative Case for Diversity Strategy.

"The report produced by ACE states that the work we programme reflects the diversity of the local community and contemporary England.

“Education on understanding diversity, whether it’s race or sexuality, is key and arts projects like these are very much an influential part of this education.”

For more information on these events, visit regular updates, follow St Helens Libraries Service on social media. Check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.