This sculpture was created by artist Debbie Adele Cooper as part of a residency at St Helens Libraries. The sculpture was inspired by glass plate negatives from the George Street Photography Collection. Many of the images were portraits of people from St Helens in the 1950's. The artist used some of the portraits from the collection alongside portraits of people from St Helens taken in 2016.
This artist residency and resulting artwork were part of a larger projected enabled through a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, awarded to St Helens Libraries Local History and Archives in 2016. The fund enabled the digitisation, preservation and sharing of a collection of over 3000 glass plate negatives discovered in a pet shop in the 1980's. The photographs were taken by Geoff Williams of Central Studios and included images of people, weddings, sport, events, buildings, work and more - a real snapshot of life in St Helens in the 1950's.
The St Helens Through the Lens sculpture was on display at Newton Le Willows Library as part of Cultural Hubs, the arts in libraries programme, funded by Arts Council England.