MOTTO FOR A FUTURE ST.HELENS by Alan Dunn & Jeff Young in collaboration with The Sutton Manor Shining Lights Heritage Group and Helena Housing, as part of Channel 4's Big Art Project, March-April 2008.

A wide range of local groups from across St. Helens have been invited to re-arrange the letters (NATIONAL COAL BOARD SUTTON MANOR COLLIERY) from the Sutton Manor Colliery Gates into a new ‘motto’ that reflects the transformations occurring across the Borough.

Artists Alan Dunn and Jeff Young have worked with Helena Housing and the Sutton Manor Shining Lights Heritage Group, who themselves have travelled the Borough developing mottos with break dancing troupes, children’s centres, tenants’ associations, the Saints Rugby Club first team and schools.

With around 500 locals participating, the mottos will be displayed across the region on a set of 29 billboards between 8 - 22 April (see p4 of invite below for list) as well as an exhibition at The Godfrey Pilkington Gallery (opens Thursday 27th March, 5.00pm, and runs until 12 April. See below for PDFs of invitations) that explores the cultural legacy of the Sutton Manor Colliery, the sealed off pithead with “RIP” scrawled into it by an ex-miner and the power of memory in creating a new future for St Helens.


A tour of the billboards will take place on Thursday 10 April, setting off from the Sutton Manor gates at 10am and be followed by a Q&A session with participants and artists in the Godfrey Pilkington Gallery at 12 noon. To book a place call Tanya Humphreys on 07766 791 893.

MOTTO forms part of Channel 4’s Big Art Project involving seven sites across the UK nominated as a venue for a major new public art commission. Jaume Plensa’s sculpture will be installed on the former Sutton Manor Colliery site later in 2008 and the process behind the commission will be broadcast in a Channel 4 series.

MOTTO will be followed by a publication issued to every household in St.Helens later in 2008 with documentation from the exhibition, the billboards and Leo Fitzmaurice's 'Heaven' project and Foreign Investment's 'Moon Shine Walk', also part of the Big Art community programme.

Nov 2007 press page Dec 2007 - BBC Radio Merseyside feature Jan 2008 - Saints workshop Jan 2008 - St.Helens Star feature Feb 2008 - designs and billboard locations

Feb 2008 - gallery billboard designs Feb 2008 - image of closed pithead made by Heritage Group 1992 - sealed pithead 1992 - still from miner's video of gates Oct 2007 - Sutton Manor Colliery Gates

Mar 2008 - billboards arrive in studio Mar 2008 - exhibition 1 Mar 2008 - exhibition 2 27 March - boxes outside 27 March - METRO

27 March - PV images by Leila Romaya 28 March - Daily Post 10 April - bus tour of billboards 10 April - ex-miner returns 24 years after being photographed by gates April - billboards installed, part 1 (images by LR)

April - billboards installed, part 2 (images by LR) 23 April - billboards filmed by Channel 4

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