An artist has transformed a coffee shop into a free art exhibition before its closure to showcase her work and encourage visitors to explore their creative side.

Rebecca Taylor Murray, from Haslingden, is running her 'Making the Uncomfortable, Comfortable' exhibition at The Workshop Coffee House, Padiham.

The 42-year-old had initially planned to establish an art studio within the venue, but after its closure was announced in November just six months after opening, Rebecca seized the opportunity to display her artwork to the public.

She hopes that her latest exhibition will encourage other budding artists through her collaboration with Colne-born artist Andrew Ratcliffe for a drop in and draw session between 1pm and 4pm today, Saturday December 2.

Lancashire Telegraph: She said: "It's something that's growing and evolving. The older drawings are quite tight and almost graphic design, and then they're becoming a lot freer.

"I called the exhibition 'Making the Uncomfortable, Comfortable' because it's all the journeys that we go through and when we get those real uncomfortable moments that we don't want to fight against sometimes and we just want to bury, or push to one side, it's sitting with it and realising that it will pass.

"It won't always be what it is. A happy emotion won't always be a happy emotion, it will transition into something else."

Rebecca, who studied at both Burnley and Blackburn College before earning a First Class Honours degree in multi-media textiles at Loughborough University, has previously exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London and at New Designers, the capital's leading graduate design show.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rebecca's collection has been three years in the making, in between a career in playground design.


After returning home from London to Grane Road, Rebecca became a champion for local creatives in setting up Rhubarb gallery shop and restaurant on Church Street, Blackburn.

Rebecca continued: "I designed and ran Rhubarb for a number of years through Bootstrap Enterprises in connection with the borough council, who ran a tourist information centre there,

"I loved it because it was very much about local designers and British designers and handmade design-led products, so I sourced all of that and it was my dream.

"We had the gallery but we also had the shop as well and we sold Fair Trade, ceramics, jewellery and things like that."

Lancashire Telegraph: Rebecca went on to develop products using recycled materials, which led to her starting her own business in playground design, with Stonyhurst College among her clients, using recycled plastic imported from the Netherlands at the forefront of the drive for recycled plastic and sustainability.

She said: "It was a brilliant business but I never just wanted to be a playground designer. Anything that I do I want to put my own stamp on it.

"People would say 'I want swings and slides and a roundabout' with preconceived ideas of what playgrounds were, but I would flip it on its head and have a product that had five or six different purposes, like a theatrical purpose or something that you could put a big sheet over and it becomes a den, or something that you could climb up.

"My art was my personal collection really, for my personal development, but then a few people enquired about my drawing and what I'd been doing and wanted to see it.

"My trade is multi-media textiles, so it is basically anything applied to a textile base, and I love the medium of printing or mark making or producing a texture, so some of the work is pen and ink, or pen and graphic design pens, and then I've introduced oil paints.

"A lot of me goes into the work and it's very emotive."

Lancashire Telegraph: The exhibition will last until the end of Sunday, December 3.