Sandy Gate Square in Burnley is a recently developed site. It is little used and has yet to establish a relationship with its immediate surroundings and Burnley itself. It is currently surrounded by hoardings painted in colours which contrast unsympathetically with the overall area.
Opposite them is a fantastic view over Burnley and the valley. It’s surprising how high up the square is, how many key sights across Burnley are visible and how far you can see.
Our aim was to re-envisage the square as a vantage point, using the hoardings as a canvas to create an intervention that begins to breathe life into the site while immediately improving its appearance and feel.
The hoardings were be painted and an apparent reflection of the view opposite cut into them. The result is a simple but striking intervention that encourages people passing through to pause and interpret the image and relate both it and the view to ‘their’ Burnley.
The image is formed from a single line. Landmarks are be clearly identifiable, but the scene allows scope for personal interpretation - some elements may be repeated or appear out of place. This will form a more intriguing intervention and makes passing reference to a reflection on the surface of the canal that runs alongside the square.
The hoarding is made from painted plywood. The existing blue colour was masked before being overpainted in shades of grey taken from the materials that make up the square. The artwork was completed over four days and people walking through were invited to stop and take part in its creation - designing a section, masking an outline or painting a panel.
The project was directed on site by Becky Atherton in collaboration with Bob Heath and assistance from Sam Aylwin.
The project was commissioned by Super Slow Way.