Minilluminations, a project funded by the West End Million Partnership and initiated by Shrimping IT(a local community minded creative business, also based at the Exchange). Shrimping It took care of the programming and tech and we looked after fabrication with the help of around 40 local community members who got involved.
'Minilluminations was a fantastic opportunity to create something really memorable and learn how it all worked. We got to make something we wouldn't have done had this project not been here. Making my minilumination was enjoyable from start to finish, I'd really like to see it again next year.' - Harry.
'I already have so many ideas of how this can be developed for next year. I'd like to make some 3d designs and introduce some new mediums. I'm so excited, I might start making some now. Being part of this project has been amazing. Tiring, but amazing! Seeing them all up and working, people walking round the park taking them in. I can't believe it, we did it.' - Wendy.
'How fantastic. Start to finish. Designing and making our own illuminations for showing in the West End's own light show. The sessions made it easy to understand and all ages joined in the fun. Over a month, our creations came alive before our very own eyes as people learned entirely new skills! Let's make it even bigger next year.' - Kirsty.
It's been a learning curve for everyone taking part, facilitators and participants. As a facilitator, the experience gained from testing materials and prototyping was great. But also supporting community members developing their ideas and seeing them taking real ownership of and pride in their builds was inspiring. This concept for various reasons had wide appeal and people engaged with it so well.
Space was quite limited and the project generated a lot of interest by its nature so it was pretty cosy at the Exchange for those four Sundays. A real hive of activity. The project has really brought a wide range of people together in terms of ages, interests, and abilities, for a whole month. Sharing some great moments, problem solving and supporting each other while testing ideas, to really relaxing days of painting up built boards and sharing in interesting chatter, added to by the ambient background music setting a tone in the air through the week.
The process itself was great but it was only when people turned out on the night of the lantern festival (a great local event for many year now thanks to More Music in Morecambe) to see it all lit up that this community spirit was really solidified. A collaborative sense of achievement and satisfaction that was quite unexpectedly emotional.
We're really excited to see where this goes next year building on what we've learnt and adding new builds but especially in terms of everyone coming to out see them