Unique artwork will be created for Darwen Market Square with help from the people of Darwen.

Blackburn with Darwen Council is delighted to announce that it is working with British Designer and Artist Liam Hopkins, who will work with the Darwen Community on developing ideas and designs, to create bespoke pieces of artwork for Darwen Market Square.

The Artist Commission for Darwen attracted interest from over 60 artists and four artists were shortlisted with Liam ultimately being selected by the panel. He is a multi-disciplinary designer and artist who studied Three Dimensional Design at College and University before setting up his studio, Lazerian, 11 years ago in Manchester.

Liam started designing and developing his own furniture, lighting and products for which he achieved many plaudits, such as, winning Best in Show in the furniture category of the Liverpool Design Show 2009, and having pieces of work bought for the permanent collections of Manchester Art Gallery, Moscow Design Museum, Museo Poldi Pezzoli (Milan) and many art and design collectors worldwide.

He then turned his attention to his personal passion, working on projects; designing unique pieces of work and responding to specific briefs.

Darwen Market Square will have a piece of public art as a focal point within a circular paved area, with additional pieces comprising of a metal gate in front of Darwen Market loading bay and metal window designs within the units under Railway Road.

Liam is keen to work with as many people from Darwen as possible to gain insight in to Darwen’s history and local stories which will inform the design of the work.

Liam said:

I am delighted to be working in Darwen. I will initially undertake a research period, looking at the local history of the place and getting to know the people by listening to their stories. With my knowledge of materials and processes, I would then start to develop ideas, turning all that rich material into something beautiful for the different areas of the Market Square.

I will tie them all together to create a communal connected place, which is still very organic, where the pieces would be different but work together as a whole.”

Cllr Phil Riley said:

Darwen Market Square is of significant importance both historically and for the future. It is at the heart of the retail centre and is an integral part of the regeneration of Darwen.

It is fitting then, that we will be working with such a high profile artist for this scheme. We are creating a fantastic space that will be enjoyed by many generations to come and we want local people to take the opportunity to shape it.”