New for 2022 is our Illuminated Window Trail- take a walk around the town centre on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th from 5-8pm and see local businesses and shop windows brought to life with a series of bird themed light up artworks, created by local artists and students from local schools and Blackburn College Level 3 Art and Design course.
Also take a look at our Greenhouse installations on King William Street, and the giant bird lanterns in the Exchange building.
Map, locations and artist details below.
The Making rooms: Dale Cocker and the Making Rooms artists.
“Flight of the Polygons”
Polygonal birds illuminated by the lights of Blackburn’s tech based creative hub
Inspired by the artists of the Making Rooms, origami and polygonal birds dart across the windows of the building to showcase both traditional and tech based making within. Being one of the first group projects undertaken at the fledgling Making Rooms, origami birds fly with three dimensional low polygon cousins from the recent world of 3D modelling and printing.
The shapes are laser cut from card with inspiration from various examples of birds created within the Making Rooms and beyond. Cellophane is used to add colour and depth to the shapes and the finished pieces are attached to the windows of studios on the upper floors.
Inspire House: Leonie Stephenson
“She Spread Her Wings and Flew”
She found her wings and flew Is a collaborative piece by myself and year 8 pupils at St Wilfrid’s High School. The bird woman, an element of this piece of work, was created in 2020, during a particularly turbulent time for me, and she had to be incorporated in this piece. Whilst thinking about how this piece would evolve, I had lyrics to a Mobius Loop track looping around my head, and realised that there was a reason for this.
“No way you can keep your cage
Keep roaming and we’ll be okay
Free as the freest birds
Keep singing and we will be heard
It’s a new day and the sun will shine
Keep singing and we’ll be just fine
It’s a no brainer It’ll take no time
Keep singing and we’ll be just fine
Maybe we’ll be free
May all beings be
Free from slavery
May every cage be
Open and empty“
Lyrics by Rose Orion, Mobius Loop
I am a self-taught freelance artist and community artist, passionate about art, education, connection and community. I want to see art more accessible to people, and I see it as a perfect medium to develop shared experiences, create connections to the world we live in, and help build communities. I love making. I am particularly passionate about making with natural materials, green woodworking, print making and paper cutting. My inspiration for my artwork often comes from the natural world and has been described as being whimsical and magical.
Spread your wings and keep singing. We will be heard!
Caffe Impresso: Calum Heywood
An ambient short film capturing the surreal beauty and movement of birds in flight.
Calum is a Multimedia artist & Internationally published photographer. Working with a variety of mediums including, photography, video, painting, land art, sound and performance.
BA graduate from the University of central Lancashire.
MA graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University.
Core member of Obscurer Darkroom.
For more work visit
@calumheywoodphoto – Instagram
Caffe Impresso: Laura Van Tatenhove
Laura’s main preoccupation has been painting although, since 2015, she has expanded her practice to include sculpture, and since 2021 to encompass photography, animation, film and performance. At the core of her artistic practise is a commitment to making work about the intersection between looking and experiencing and the internal and external experience of our bodies in the world. She makes art to stimulate visual curiosity and draw attention to the beauty of the ‘ordinary’ and the ‘moment’ focusing on the visceral and the landscape. She dissects the overlooked and makes it durable to challenge the over-stimulated and fast-paced world view. People are drawn in to study her small and precisely handled work and viewers comment on her attention to detail and the compulsive and labour intensive element of her practice. This is most noticeable in the installations of multiple works that utilise repetition, the dissection sculptures, and the stop-motion animation works. More recently Laura has pursued these ideas but framed them in a way that prioritises the transformation, mutation and residue of materials and emphasises the creative potential of recycled, reused and repeated forms.
Laura van Tatenhove is an Australian artist based in Lancaster, The United Kingdom. In 2002, after completing her MFA at The College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, and following a series of successful solo and group exhibitions at Mori Gallery and various other Sydney venues, she moved to the UK where she has been practising ever since. Between various painting and sculptural projects she has raised a daughter, worked as a Lecturer in Painting and Printmaking at St. Martin’s College, and established a thriving Massage and Bowen therapy business.
MeeMaws: Ian Halawi
A flock of birds migrating making murmurations through illuminated clouds.
Ian Halawi was born in Brunei to an English mother and Bruneian father in 1986, and studied Surface Pattern Design at Staffordshire University. “ I’ve always painted and played with print, but it wasn’t until I was made redundant that I began to paint and develop my artistic sense.“
Blackburn Library: Julia Swarbrick
Multiple 3d constructed paper birds
Blackburn born and based Julia Swarbrick finds inspiration in the natural world around her, in the historical, in the personal and the imagined. Found elements from the natural world combined with mental biography are the rich source for the images she creates; using painting and printmaking as mediums that compliment and inform one another her work explores her external and immediate environment alongside the internal world of imagination and personal narrative.
King William Street- Greenhouse: Emma Clarke
“Growing and Flowing”
Abstract moving bird shadows. Papier-mâché, home grown and woven willow, birch, hazel and willow nest. The piece is an experimental installation to explore the shadows cast onto the translucent house by the simple bird mobile and complex nest. The piece is a collaborative work involving 3 community groups- Inspired By Art at The Bureau, volunteers at the Greenhouse Project in Witton Park and young people from Youth Action.
Emma is a multi media artist living and working with communities in Lancashire since the 1990s. She trained in sculpture and uses a plethora of materials, art and craft techniques in her work. Textiles, willow, plaster casting, cement, wood, clay, knitting and mosaic all feature and her work always evolves as it is created to include influences from the working environment and the participants of her workshops.
King William St- Greenhouse: Janine Walker
“A Partridge in a Pear Tree”
Large Partridge lantern surrounded by leaves and pears.
Janine is a sculptor, propmaker and outdoor artist who enjoys making detailed pieces that bring a smile to those who encounter them. Things which create interaction, either with their surroundings or the people who come into contact with them. Objects that tell a story, for parades, festivals and theatre productions.
The Drummers Arms : Noman Ali, Calum Clark & Liana Semjaskina
The Rock Box : Leah Westall
I have chosen to create a silhouette design intended to resemble an owl mid-flight. My work is inspired by mandala art, which features both fluid, organic shapes and calculated, angular geometric shapes. I used this art style as inspiration for creating the detail in my silhouette.
Through researching various images of owls in flight I could then form the shape for the
silhouette. To create this, I used a scalpel to cut intricate detail into the card to create the
silhouette to add striking details allowing the light from behind to pass through.
Blackburn Library : Noman Ali
Blackburn Library : Trudy Robinson
M&S : Charlie Hope
M&S – Hunayn Shahid
M&S : Gracie Bottomly
“The Darwen Pheasant”
M&S : Ellie Hodson
“Rupert the Red Breast Robin”
I chose a Robin because It’s a very beautiful, warm coloured bird, and is associated to
Christmas and I thought it would be appropriate since Christmas is close.
40 King William St : Codie Pickard and Jojo Hanan
40 King William St: – Kelis Holden and Liv Shaw
This project is a collaboration . The objective for our bird is to create an “unrealistic” piece, which comprises of a number of elements drawn up from our sketches. The lantern comprises of a portrait side view with a single wing which is inspired by the da vinci wing.
40 King William St: Emily Fursman
40 King William St: Luke Houghton
Popup Shop 29 Northgate : Haram Fatima Masoud
“The Barn Owl”
Age Concern: Ruby Islam
“Sky of Birds”
I have an interest with origami and thought that it would be a different
approach to the given brief and it suited me better as a character. The origami bird I chose
to create was a crane as it symbolised peace, blessing and good luck which I thought it went nicely with the theme and meanings of the festival such as the similarity with the festival’s phoenix meaning new life after death. I will also be hanging my birds at different heights this is so shadows will be created giving different depths and perspectives.
42 King St. – Abby Norcross
My idea for the window display is the theme of migration. In this project I incorporate references to the refugee crisis. Birds migrate to survive but their migration brings life, colour, beauty and variety. Blackburnwith Darwen has been a dispersal area for refugees and a central point for migration over the past decades. Through my installation I want to celebrate the theme of migration and all the benefits that it brings to our town. My piece is a collaborative piece between myself and refugees and asylum seekers.
In the past few months, I’ve been volunteering at Kairos Housing. Kairos Housing provides safe accommodation and holistic support to refused asylum seekers and refugees who find themselves homeless within Blackburn and Darwen.
My window display uses an image of birds hanging directly behind the window, to give a 3D effect. In the bottom of the window, I have included silhouettes showing refugee migration. It shows movement of the birds and individuals towards the door of Kairos Housing representing the welcome available inside.
I am 15 years old I live in Blackburn, and I have been involved in the parade for several years. I am in year 11 and currently home educated. I have a passion for art I am doing this project as part of my application to study Art at Blackburn College and later to hopefully pursue a career in the creative arts. I will be recording the process and finished piece with photographs and a written blog. I volunteer regularly at Kairos Housing and have previously worked on practical projects with them. I also do art in my spare time and I’m building up a portfolio. I especially excel in practical and creative studies such as sport, art and music.
Kairos-46 King St : Year 7 Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
“Flock of jewels”
A wonderful colourful contribution of papercut birds from students at QUEGS
Hobkirks : Rachel Stevenson
This project is a three-dimensional, tropical bird made with traditional
willow and cotton. My artistic vision is that the bird appears to burst out
of the fabric that drapes onto the floor and connects to the main
framework. I chose to use fabric as it is more flexible to fit around my
framework. The fabric is dyed in green, yellow and red so it
gradually goes from a plain pile of cotton into a colourful and beautiful
Hobkirks: Mike Shatford & Elle Evans
I chose a peacock because they are very colourful, unique and
Geek Retreat : Keeleigh Wilson
Geek Retreat: Emily Fursman
“The Shining Robin”
I chose to do a Robin on a holly branch because they both
Christmassy themed things which will correlate with the time of the year.
Geek Retreat : Nouraht Osanyinpeju
“Red Woodpecker in a Flower Dress”
Fairy-tale box with a bird sitting on the edge with a flower dress and fairy lights surrounding the box.
With fake green grass inside the box to mimic a forest and with little butterflies.
This will be created to be able to tell a little story that people can imagine that could heal an inner child and smile.
This piece was inspired by a TV show from my childhood called ‘’ Das Sandmännchen’’
Geek Retreat : Isha Hussain
“A Case of Birds”
Bus Station : Tyler Lees, Khadijah Anwar, Aza Davies-McLoughlin, Bethany Gray