Lancaster University cleaners create a real sparkle with new artwork

Lancaster University cleaning staff created a unique piece of artwork with their mops within the university library.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 12:30 pm

The art project, entitled 'Traces', was a huge success with at least 60 cleaners turning up.

At the start of the current pandemic a bright spotlight shone on all key workers including cleaners.

Commissioned by Lancaster Arts and led by Venezuelan multidisciplinary artist José Garcia Oliva, this project encourages everyone to appreciate and recognise the vital role cleaning staff play in our day to day lives.

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Some of the people involved in the project. Photo by Mark Gillow

José Garcia Oliva said: "Now is a crucial time to acknowledge the role that cleaning staff have in keeping us going. The historical lack of recognition perpetuates this oppressive and hidden labour. After a pandemic, we now know how vital they are."

Director of Lancaster Arts Jocelyn Cunningham said: "Lancaster Arts has always been excited to work with the whole university community. José has brought a unique opportunity to engage with an often invisible, sometimes undervalued but absolutely critical part of our workplaces. All the more exciting for the chance to do this in the heart of the university – our library."

The final artwork will be installed within the university's library at a later date.

Some of the people involved in the project. Photo by Mark Gillow