A major art installation in Preston urges people to be the change they want to see

The installation in University Square said PERSPECTIVES CREATING REALITIES Pic: Tim Saunders

A major art installation in Preston has urged people to ‘be the change they want to see’.


Local artist Tim Saunders – aka Timsperspectiveart – installed the artwork in three public spaces around the city on Sunday June 19.

Tim said, “The artwork was simple but built on complexity. The total budget was £50 for materials, and the work was done by myself and volunteers who share the vision, demonstrating that art doesn’t need permission, and should be free and accessible to all .

“Its purpose is – as with all art – to provoke a reaction, whether positive or negative, and there was an opportunity for those who wanted to interact.

“It was a great day. So many people stopped and got into the work, and I want to thank everyone who made it all worthwhile. »

The first part of the installation was created in University Square. He used arrows and the statement PERSPECTIVES CREATE REALITY to highlight how people can broaden their understanding by seeking different viewpoints.

On the Flag Market, the second part asked “what is reality” using the statement THIS IS NE NOT DE L’ART in a nod to Belgian artist René Magritte.

This IS NOT ART installation at Flag Market Photo: Tim Saunders
This IS NOT ART installation at Flag Market Photo: Tim Saunders

The third part at the bus station used giant letters to spell out BE THE CHANGE and was supported by a poem about wellness and choices, and a statement about the environment and choices.

BE THE CHANGE at the bus station Photo: Tim Saunders
BE THE CHANGE at the bus station Photo: Tim Saunders

Tim has created a large-scale public artwork in each of the past five years. His projects have highlighted social and environmental issues, including homelessness, increased use of food banks, plastic waste and the climate crisis.

He has also recently staged an art intervention and created performance art to protest for the creative community in Preston.

Read more: ‘Ivor Adenuff’ protests for Preston’s creative community at Met launch

Tim said: “It’s the biggest art installation I’ve done and I think the biggest Preston has seen.

“This year’s work is a response to the seemingly overwhelming post-Covid situation, the ongoing political unrest and now the cost of living crisis and war in Europe – all of which will be overtaken by the climate emergency. if no action is taken.

“I wanted to ask what difference can one person make? What can I do? Is all this useless?

“There has been a massive increase in stress and mental health issues across all age groups, including young people who are bearing the consequences of our actions.

“This work was meant to be a message of hope to show that each of us is capable of finding new perspectives, changing our own realities and thus being the change we wish to see.

“It not only makes a difference to the world, but also improves our own well-being by giving us a new purpose, a sense of belonging to something much bigger and knowing that we are doing what we can.

“All journeys happen one step at a time, all change happens one choice at a time.”

Tim's Message of Hope Photo: Tim Saunders
Tim’s Message of Hope Photo: Tim Saunders

Tim completed the first part of this latest set of artwork in 2020.

After starting as a temporary installation in the Flag Market, Seek to Understand is now a living sculpture in Preston made up of 250 trees.

Over the next ten years, it will become a hedge providing a biodiverse environment for wildlife as well as a carbon capture system. It will be visible via Google Earth, spelling out its message of hope.

Read more: Message of hope left in Preston’s flag market by a city artist

This second play, Be the Change, is already a living, voluntary self-help group set up by its members, all of whom have a variety of mental health issues.

Without funding or help from others, the group works together to improve the environment and their well-being by undertaking weekly projects with nature and horticulture.

Tim said, “My passion is community and inclusivity, and I believe art should be freely available to everyone and accessible. Preston has great resources and my intention is to use them supporting public spaces for public art which I believe does not require permission.

“My public art is designed to be flexible, easy to install and remove, to allow me to choose timings, and to last a day and then be removed without damage.

“I love seeing people’s reactions and as long as they’re not violent I particularly appreciate negative responses on social media and always try to respond if I can which is now part of the job. work of art.

“I’m also interested in ‘official’ responses and how city guardians take up the challenge of art and non-conformity.

“I feel that even though my art is nothing like it and it’s different, I now understand Banksy and his methodology better.”

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