Preston Remembers

Preston Remembers was a creative research project, undertaken by Jenny Steele and Laurence Payot, which examined how Preston’s Market Square is used and how Prestonians relate to the Cenotaph within it. The artists each undertook a series of activities which traced people’s movements, looked for visual patterns in chaotic and constant flows, photographed, categorised and encouraged people to re-imagine the Cenotaph. Their research informed Preston City Council’s Preston Remembers project, which was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and involved the renovation and remodelling of the Cenotaph in the run up to the centenary of the First World War in 2014.

Artists: Laurence Payot, Jenny Steele
Locations: Preston Market Square, The Cenotaph
Years: 2012
Partners: Preston City Council, Preston Remembers, St George’s Centre
Funders: Heritage Lottery Fund

Following the Market Square by Jenny Steele

Following the Market Square was a multi-layered project, through which Steele interacted with people online and across the city to explore their engagement with the Cenotaph and Market Square. Her research included a short residency at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, during which she invited people who use the square to contribute to a collaborative drawing and to express their perceptions of the existing square and war memorial. She also tracked people’s movements across the space in a hand-drawn animation entitled Observation of Desire Lines.

Supervised and From My Eyes by Laurence Payot

As part of the Preston Remembers project, Laurence Payot spent a day photographing the Market Square and categorised the resulting photographs as the basis for a series of mock up images. Payot explains ‘The categorising technique I used is very similar to the one used in monitoring forms, where we become a tick in a box, but transforming it into a visual form makes it look strangely humorous (some of the images look like they could be of a performance or an event), as well as ironically dark and sectarian’.

For the second stage of her research, From My Eyes, the artist sought to discover people’s perceptions of the Cenotaph by asking them to draw the monument and make their own additions to it. The images were then edited to create an animation, which gives a collective life to the still and quiet monument.

In Certain Places

VB005A, Victoria Building
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE