A new way of looking at things

Picture Martin Bostock'Specialist Lights artist Jo Berry with her recreation of Bpl's 1930s fluted art deco pylons on Blackpool Promenade, installed in 2012. She returns with a new work on September 22.
Picture Martin Bostock'Specialist Lights artist Jo Berry with her recreation of Bpl's 1930s fluted art deco pylons on Blackpool Promenade, installed in 2012. She returns with a new work on September 22.
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A new art installation seeks to open the mind to its own powers.

Lancashire artist Jo Berry is behind the Brain Container, which opens at North Shore on Monday.

The exhibit is a lit, moving art installation, housed in a customised cargo container – creating a giant, interactive light box.

The piece, which can be seen from Monday, opposite the former Miners Home at the cliffs, is made up of 36 cast acrylic discs which are hung, lit and rotated and feature images of the human brain.

A new part of this year’s Illuminations display, the container aims to get visitors out of their cars and on to the Prom.

Coun Christine Wright, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for culture and heritage, said: “The Brain Container is another fine addition to our Illuminations display.

“It continues our efforts to try to make the Illuminations display more interactive by getting people out of their cars and on to the Promenade to explore interactive displays.

“I look forward to visiting it myself, and I thank Jo for coming up with such an exciting and challenging concept.”

Jo, who has been inspired by her childhood visits to the Lights, was responsible for the Fluted Pylons near North Pier, installed in 2012 as part of the Illuminations Centenary Celebrations.

As artist in residence at the University of Nottingham’s public arts centre, she has worked in collaboration with Dr Lena Palaniyappan - a psychiatrist who works with young people who experience psychosis for the first time.

Jo’s images in the Brain Container have been created using neuroimaging from Dr Palaniyappan’s research.

The exhibition is set to music by Angela Slater, who designed the accompanying sound in response to imagery she viewed in Jo’s studio.

An important part of the project was working with the Arts for Health Groups in Blackpool and Nottingham.

Jo said: “The people I worked with were magnificent and very creative.

“They produced a wide range of rich, beautiful and witty artwork, creative writing and light boxes.”

The project was Lottery funded through Arts 
Council England, and supported by Blackpool Council, the University of Nottingham and the Institute of Mental Health.