Madlove arts festival pops up in St Helens shopping centre

The Madlove Take Over  pop-up arts festival in the Hardshaw Centre
The Madlove Take Over pop-up arts festival in the Hardshaw Centre

A social arts agency and charity has opened a pop-up hub at the Hardshaw Centre in St Helens after commercial property and investment company LCP donated a retail space for it to use.

Heart of Glass has taken over store 2, the former Argos store, until the end of November to launch Madlove Take Over - a pop-up arts festival that tackles mental health.

Produced by Heart of Glass and curated by mental health activist and artist James Leadbitter, the Madlove Take Over brings together 13 local, national and international artists and communities, which will make exhibitions, films and new performances.

The Madlove Take Over space is open throughout November, Tuesday to Saturday between 11am and 6pm, where members of the public are welcome to have a cup of tea, a place to relax and even experiment and explore art – all free of charge.

Patrick Fox, director at Heart of Glass, said: "We are so grateful to LCP for donating the old Argos unit in the Hardshaw Centre to us.

"We believe that art belongs everywhere and to everyone so the opportunity to take over a familiar space in an unexpected way with art made by communities and artists working together is fantastic.

"The response to our Madlove Take Over from the local community has been phenomenal so far. We look forward to more tea, chats and community events to come."

Gary Mitchell, manager of the Hardshaw Centre, which is owned and managed by LCP, added: “We’re delighted to welcome A Heart of Glass to the shopping centre, where it brings vibrant creativity to what is normally a busy retail environment. We hope to work more with Heart of Glass so it can continue working in the centre over the coming months.”

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