Blackburn with Darwen Council are 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, 4 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.”

John Sturgess, Chair of Darwen Town Centre Partnership Board, said, “Liam is a very skilled designer
and artist; his previous work is impressive and testament to this. I very much like the fact that Liam
has no set idea of what the artwork will look like yet and will be led by the people of Darwen. I
would encourage people to get involved and play your part in Darwen’s future history.”

Liam will be starting work in Darwen at the end of April 2018. If you are from Darwen and are keen
to get involved or are part of a group who would like to take part in a workshop, please contact
Gemma Johnson: gemma.johnson@blackburn.gov.uk.