BLACKBURN artists, writers and photographers have been recording the diverse life of the town today for an exhibition and the future.

For 12 months they have been out and about in the borough with their paint brushes, cameras and pens capturing local people at work, at home and at play.

The exhibition includes the work of artist Saima Hussain who lives and works in Audley Range and paints street scenes of the area, Karen Mathison a photographer who has been researching and photographing the communities of Mill Hill and Ewood where she lives, as well as renowned photographer Craig Easton who worked with residents in Bank Top.

Lancashire Telegraph:

One of Craig Easton’s photographs

The 'Kick Down the Barriers' show also includes a collage self portraits from 270 primary school children across Blackburn who took part in a virtual art workshop with local artist Cath Ford.

The artwork has been framed and hung alongside the display of Victorian Portraits in the Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery until the end of November.

The exhibition spans six of the galleries inside the museum, and includes poetry, performance, video, painting, collage, photography and installation work.

Blackburn with Darwen Council culture boss Cllr Damian Talbot said: "Over the past 12 months artists and writers have been working in and with communities to redefine the stories about them and represent those communities as they see themselves.

"The work aims to redefine the labels of ‘segregation’ and ‘division’ that have been put onto them by national press and media. The museum is now open in a Covid safe way."

Lancashire Telegraph:

An Audley Range streetscene by Saima Hussain

Project manager Sophie Skellern says: “I am delighted with the fantastic artwork.

"It is especially rewarding having something positive to see during this difficult time of Covid-19, and seeing how Blackburn’s communities have come together to support one another has exactly proven the message the project is trying to show - that the negative labels that Blackburn has been given are unjustified.”

Blackburn people have been temporarily donating their own items to the gallery for a display titled ‘The People's Museum’ which features sentimental objects including a still-thriving curry plant that travelled from Gujarat, India, many years ago and a pair of socks the owner says ensures he feels bold and brave when wearing them.