Inflatable sculptures aim to cause a stir in Morecambe

Fantastical ways of looking at many of Morecambe’s landmarks and prominent places are going on display across the town.

Now You See It is a visual art project which began last year when giant inflatable sculptures made from recycled plastic sheets popped up at various locations in Morecambe.

To complete the project, striking images of the creations will be displayed from Wednesday in windows along the promenade from The Beach Cafe at the Battery to The Old Pier Bookshop.

About 25 art and design students from Lancaster & Morecambe College worked with award-winning environmental artist Steve Messam on the project specially commissioned for a cultural and creative education programme run by Lancaster District Cultural Education Partnership (Culture Co-op), Lancaster University, Curious Minds and Lancashire Youth Challenge (LYC).

An inflatable basking shark gives the Tern Project birds a fright as part of the Now You See It project.

It received additional funding from the college’s sustainability project fund.

For some of the 16 to 20-year-olds, Now You See It was part of their course work while for others, working with a professional artist was part of their work related activity.

The images, on display until July 17, range from the eccentric and playful to the elegant but all ask the viewer to look at familiar places in a different way.

For those venues which couldn’t accommodate the inflatables, photographs were taken of their representatives holding a big bunch of balloons and these too are on display.

One of the inflatable sculptures pictured outside The Platform in Morecambe.

The images can be seen at The Beach Café, the Midland Hotel, B-Army Surplus, The Winter Gardens, No 1 Hair Studio, Vogue Hair & Beauty, B&M Bargains, Briggs Shoes, Rita's Café, The Old Pier Bookshop, Northern Chocolate Company, Venus at the Winter Gardens, The Hanger, Pleasureland, Little Gargoyle Ltd, Dance & Leisure Wear, Bay Sweet Shop and Troutflies UK.

Lancaster & Morecambe College lecturer John Lambert, who led the project, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to work alongside a high profile artist in new and exciting ways.

“The images they made are really fun and show the diversity of our young people’s talent. It was also great to work with so many local businesses, all of whom were so willing to let us use their spaces and accommodate the pictures, the sculptures and the balloons!”

The cultural and creative programme began in 2020 as a two-year funded initiative and is one element of a wider three-year programme entitled Our Place In The World, designed and run by the Lancaster-based LYC, a charity which enables young people to build confidence and resilience via a year-round programme of personal development and wellbeing programmes, creative arts activities, community impact projects and cultural education events.

A giant inflatable sculpture takes a seat in the council chamber at Morecambe Town Hall.