This weekend In-Situ welcomed over 250 local people to The Garage to celebrate the launch of the new arts space at Northlight in Brierfield, on part of the former cotton mill site.
The weekend began with a VIP Launch on Thursday, with speeches from Cllr Paul White (Pendle Borough Council) and Ian Tabron (Arts Council England). Both spoke of the importance of funding small projects that have a big social and economic impact.
On Saturday, the public open day at The Garage began outside Brierfield Library where In-Situ had been based since forming in 2011. A crowd of 60 local people of all ages formed to create a public procession to Northlight, led by drumming and singing from local Nasheed singer, Hussnain Hanif.
“In-Situ is continuing to activate the route from the town centre to Northlight, as we saw on Saturday with the procession through Brierfield and across the railway bridge. Our presence here now is about continuing to make Northlight accessible to local residents through activities that involve everyone and inspire people about what’s possible for the area. We are very excited about the future of this site and our role in reenergising local areas and landmarks.” (Paul Hartley, In-Situ)
On arrival at The Garage the Mayor of Brierfield cut the ribbon to rapturous applause, and local people streamed into the building to enjoy the day of activities, including food, drumming workshops, henna and facepainting, planting and Talkaoke with students from Marsden Heights Community College and local residents. This was followed by a memorable performance from Chand Ali Khan Qawwal to a packed audience.
The evening saw the opening performance of Five Verses on Six Sacks of Earth, a mobile micro-opera created in response to the archaeological dig at Malkin Tower Farm. Artists Nastassja Simensky and Rebecca Lee were commissioned by In-Situ and Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership to work with local people, singers, archaeologists and historians to create the work as part of the £4.4m Heritage Lottery Funded project.
The Garage is supported by Arts Council England and PEARL.