Rags, the Boutique does Southport

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Last Saturday saw the fun of Rags Boutique at Southport Festival.

For the magic-themed festival we created an array of high standing wizard hats, a collection of mushroom masks. Black cats masqueraded and a troop of unicorns topped everything off.

Alison Little started Rags Boutique workshops over a decade ago as part of Bold Street development as consumers were flocking to the newly opened Liverpool 1 and retailers were losing custom. She then found a temporary home for the workshops and an exhibition venue in The Old Paint shop, Rapid. The workshop has grown from strength to strength making appearances at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and the Museum of Liverpool on several occasions.

Last weekend it was Southport’ turn and it livened up Mermaid gardens in the traditions of Lord Street. Southport Festival takes place in early May, lining the streets with arts, dance, music and comedy.

More about Southport Festival

Much fun was had on the streets of much loved Southport.

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Blackpool puts the Flags Out

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Last Saturday the many holidaymakers and locals of Blackpool showed up they knew how to put the flags out.

Liverpool artist Alison Little took her innovative art workshop Rags Boutique to Retrospective at Backpool’ Winter Gardens. Aunty Social, the Blackpool based Community Interest Company presented Retrospective, the Parasol Parade held at the historic Theatre and entertainment venue. There were an array of acts: flag making to film screenings, puppetry to plate spinning, penny farthings to the ultimate parade. A glorious day was much fun was had by the families which ventured into the spirit of the seaside holiday venue.

Often working around the medium of Textiles, the use of reclaimed materials is key within Alison practice. As a creative professional she has worked on a variety of arts projects including numerous public art commissions: Go Superlambanana’s, Go Penguin and the Horse Parade in Cheltenham. In early 2011 she ran a medium term (6 weeks) Arts Project: Rags Boutique. In this, she secured the funding to run the project which consisted of transforming a disused Retail Unit, the Old Paint Shop (Rapid) in Renshaw Street into an exhibition space and workshop venue. This revolved around the theme of fashion from reclaimed materials and was a great success. Liverpool based, working throughout the UK and on occasions internationally. Her initial degree was in 3D Design in which she specialized in plastics as a medium. This is evident in her current practice around the use of heat-sealed technologies for re-working discarded plastic bags. Her working methods vary from hand painting, improvisation of printed digital media to traditional craft practice, all to the highest of standards. She has run workshops for varies Arts Organizations including the Liverpool Independent Art School, Bluecoat Display Centre and Makefest Manchester.

Retrospect was her first visit to Blackpool as part of her creative practice:

It was an amazing day where a vast collection of flags were made to brighten up the beaches of the North West coast.

Explained Alison. The day saw little creatives come in their masses. Plastic was layered, vinyl was cut, heat applied and flags were assembled to posts. There were many smiles, sequential new experiences combined with some inevitable tears. Every child had a newly created flag to add to their latest sand castle formation.

A Joy, a pleasure and a day of family fun on the Fylde shoreline.

Aunty Social

Winter Gardens

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