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LarryOver 60 University Centre St Helens and St Helens College students enjoyed a thought provoking, interactive presentation from British-Ghanian, multi-disciplinary artist, Larry Achiampong, last week.

Visiting St Helens as part of the St Helens Take Over Festival (#takeoversthelens), brought to the borough in conjunction with St Helens Heart of Glass, Larry’s work currently features in one of Church Street’s shopping units.

Exhibiting his latest piece, ‘Sunday’s Best’, a series of film and installation comprised of vivid audio and images of praise and worship sessions in a Ghanaian community church, the artwork explores how faith and history intertwine, as a personal and collective experience and how belief systems within the diaspora are changed by colonial histories.

Presenting to students in the main lecture theatre, Larry explained to students how he has worked on both individual and collaborative pieces since 2012, using a range of audio, visual and video mediums, many of which explore an interest in popular culture and post-colonial position.

Nominated, with colleague David Blandy, for this year’s Jarman Award, an award that recognises and supports artists working with moving image and celebrates the spirit of experimentation, imagination and innovation in the work of UK-based artist filmmakers, Larry and David will discover whether they have won at an event held at London’s Barbican Centre later this month.

After speaking to students for more than an hour, Larry took questions from the floor before taking the time to speak to students on an individual basis.

Shirley Metcalfe, Curriculum Manager for Art and Design at St Helens College said: “The lecture was an exciting opportunity for our Level 2 and Level 3 Art and Design students to meet a nationally renowned artist and discuss his work.

“Larry’s visit has inspired the students to consider important themes such as culture and class and how they could incorporate them in their own practice.”

Ian Greenall, Programme Leader for the FdA Theatre and Performance, added: “Larry’s visit was a fantastic opportunity for our Theatre and Performance students to develop a deeper understanding of the wide variety of performance mediums, considering how traditional art, combined with music, video and live performance can be combined to produce something special. We hope to continue working with St Helens Heart of Glass, to bring additional guest speakers to St Helens and our students.”