Dilapidated Johnson Fold building could be wrapped in plastic to transform it into giant artwork (From This Is Lancashire)
Dilapidated Johnson Fold building could be wrapped in plastic to transform it into giant artwork
A FORMER housing office in Johnson Fold could be transformed into a piece of art — by being wrapped in a plastic mesh.
The closed building in Tattersall Avenue could be temporarily wrapped in the translucent material and used as a canvas to show artwork as well as the vegetable-growing efforts of residents.
The proposed sculpture has been likened to artwork at The Reichstag in Berlin, which was covered in recycled materials for two weeks in 1995.
The “sculpture” would be a temporary measure until the building is bulldozed.
A Johnson’s Fold Residents’ Meeting was told that, if given the go-ahead, the work would be a “display case” for the community. Screens within the building would be used to exhibit work of residents.
Shonagh Ingram, a housing arts officer at Bolton at Home, said: “The building is what we are stuck with until it’s demolished, so it’s about what we can do to make it a nice, pleasant place for the community until something is done with it. It’s not a solution, it’s an opportunity.
“I am going to talk to the people who live opposite. If we don’t have community support we won’t do anything with it. It’s a starting point for conversation.”
The idea originated from community groups in the area calling for a public platform to exhibit the creative work taking place in Johnson Fold.
The building would be called The Treasure Box, which stems from the idea that it should be protected until it is demolished.
The plans were created by the Office for Subversive Architecture, which has worked on temporary installations across the world including for the Volksbühne, the people’s theatre in Berlin, and Schirn Kunsthalle, an art gallery in Frankfurt.
Consultation with the community will be carried out and if the idea is backed by residents, Bolton at Home will look into applying for funding.
PCSO Paul Dootson, for Johnson Fold, speaking at a Johnson’s Fold residents’ meeting, said: “As it stands it’s going to be an area where people play football. I think we would still be able to keep on top of it.
“If we can use something to make it nice and appealing then it’s probably a good idea.”
One member at the meeting feared the artwork would be a target for vandals if it went ahead. She said she thought children would try to climb the plastic mesh and suggested children should be given the opportunity to write their name on the building and create their own artwork.
Another member said it was important for the community to be involved in the project if it was to take place as some people feel like “outcasts” in the area they live.
Consultation into the plans is expected to last several months.
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