Creating Enchanted City made of Peterborough selfies

Almas and Michael
Almas and Michael
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People across Peterborough are being invited to submit to The Selfie Project and have their selfies reimagined as part of Peterborough Arts Festival next month.

Cathedral Square and Bridge Street will undergo a magical metamorphosis for Peterborough Arts Festival on September 4 and 5.

Betty Newsome

Betty Newsome

Peterborough Presents has commissioned Magnetic Events to create an Enchanted City, featuring a series of projections that will contain up to 300 selfies submitted by local people. The projections will illuminate glass and brickwork in and around Cathedral Square against an autumnal night sky.

Josie Hickin, manager of the Peterborough Presents programme, is expecting the project to engage with thousands of Peterborough residents, and she is actively encouraging everyone in the city to join in.

“This year we really want to create a piece of art that celebrates the people of our city in an inclusive and exciting way, and the best way to showcase that is to showcase the selfies of the people living here!

“We’ll be taking selfie sticks to local hairdressers, animal shelters, tattoo parlours, cafés, shops, and many other places around the city, so look out for us. We also want to challenge people’s perceptions of what is considered as art, and bring it to the core of what makes Peterborough a great city through projects like this.”

Clive and Sue Read

Clive and Sue Read

Magnetic Events will work alongside local visual artist Luke Payn to devise the optical feast, which will be dusted with influences of pop-art to celebrate Tate Artist Rooms and genuine work by Andy Warhol coming to the city in October.

Luke is looking forward to collaborating with Magnetic Events on the project. He said: “Lighting up our city, draping the curves of our architecture with shimmering and shifting lights, repurposing retail units into an outdoor cinema is going to be a magnificent spectacle.

“I feel very lucky to be involved. I can’t wait to get started and I eagerly await the fantastic finale! I’m keen to see selfies with faces that fill the frame, good clear head and shoulder shots, and I would love having a spectrum of exaggerated expressions. Whether that is a sultry pout, a quivering Elvis lip, a raised eyebrow, a fixed stare, silly faces or any other contortions.”

Performance Poet and Marketing Assistant for The Selfie Project, Charley Genever, has started sharing selfies on the Peterborough Presents Facebook/Instagram.

Daniel

Daniel

“I love selfies. I can guarantee that 70% of the photos on my phone are selfies, and I know I’m not alone in that fact! Selfies are a celebration of who we are; they capture memories of special events, places, and feelings - this project is a beautiful way of sharing those experiences with the city. It’s an easy concept to get creative with too - you can include friends/family/pets/buildings/possessions; I’m going to share all my favourites on our Facebook and Instagram in the run up to September.”

In order for this project to be a success, Peterborough Presents need your selfies! To take part and have your selfie included, email it for selection to peterboroughpresentsselfie@gmail.com.

You can see the final artwork on Friday September 4 and Saturday September, 5 around Bridge Street and Cathedral Square, between 7:30pm – 10:30pm.

Peterborough presents...

Jake the Fireman

Jake the Fireman

Peterborough Presents… is a consortium of local artists, arts organisations and communities working together to create great art in the city, led by Vivacity with Metal, Creative Peterborough, Voluntary Arts and Step Up Community Association.

The Enchanted City programme is created by Magnetic Events & The Projection Studio who are creative arts companies and producers of memorable outdoor events and arts productions. Peterborough city centre will be transformed for two Festival evenings into an Enchanted City in a programme of spectacular large scale and smaller scale intimate digital visual projections that animate well know buildings and places with moving images and sounds, telling stories and transforming the streets and squares each evening for an anticipated audience of many thousands.

Luke Payn is a freelance artist and facilitator with over 10 years’ experience working within the education and community sectors.

He was a founding member of the influential triumvirate Glass Onion Music & Arts Community Centre, Muddy Promotions and the Grassroots Festivals and has a passion for building and supporting communities across the city. Luke uses both analogue and digital approaches in photography to explore the mutability of our photogenic reality. He lives and works in Peterborough and has recently exhibited in both Art in the Heart and City Gallery.

Kevin Tighe

Kevin Tighe