Large art installation in Preston urges people to be the change they want to see

Posted on - 20th June, 2022 - 8:42pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Flag Market, Health, People, Politics, Preston Bus Station, Preston City Centre, Preston News, UCLan, University campus
The installation at University Square said PERSPECTIVES CREATE REALITIES Pic: Tim Saunders
The installation at University Square said PERSPECTIVES CREATE REALITIES Pic: Tim Saunders

A large art installation in Preston has urged people to ‘be the change they want to see’.


Local artist Tim Saunders – aka Timsperspectiveart – set up the artwork in three public spaces across the city on Sunday (19 June).

Tim said: “The artwork was simple yet built upon complexity. The total budget was £50 for materials, and the work was completed by myself and volunteers who share the vision, demonstrating that art does not need permission, and should be free and accessible to all.

“Its aim is – as with all art – to provoke a reaction, whether that be positive or negative, and there was opportunity for those wanting to to interact.

“It was a great day. So many people were stopping and engaging with the work, and I would like to thank everyone who made it all feel worthwhile.”

Part one of the installation was created at University Square. It used arrows and the statement PERSPECTIVES CREATE REALITY to highlight how people are able to broaden their understanding by seeking out different views.

On the Flag Market, part two asked ‘what is reality’ by using the statement C’EST NE PAS DE L’ART in a nod towards Belgian artist Rene Magritte.

The C'EST NE PAS DE L'ART installation at the Flag Market Pic: Tim Saunders
The C’EST NE PAS DE L’ART installation at the Flag Market Pic: Tim Saunders

Part three at the Bus Station used giant letters to spell out BE THE CHANGE and was supported by a poem about wellbeing and choices, and a statement about the environment and choices.

BE THE CHANGE at the Bus Station Pic: Tim Saunders
BE THE CHANGE at the Bus Station Pic: Tim Saunders

Tim has created a large scale piece of public art during each of the past five years. His projects have highlighted social and environmental issues, including homelessness, increased food bank use, plastic waste, and the climate crisis.

He has also recently staged an art intervention and created performance art to protest for the creative community in Preston.

Read more: ‘Ivor Adenuff’ protests for Preston creative community at The Met launch

Tim said: “This is the largest art installation I have done, and I believe the largest Preston has seen.

“This year’s work is a response to the seemingly overwhelming situation following Covid, the ongoing political turmoil and now the cost of living crisis and war in Europe – all of which will be overtaken by the climate emergency if action is not taken.

“I wanted to ask what difference can any one person make? What can I do? Is it all pointless?

“There has been a massive rise in stress and mental health issues amongst all age groups, including the young who face the consequences of our actions.

“This artwork was intended as a message of hope to show that each one of us is able to find new perspectives, change our own realities and thereby be the change we want to see.

“This not only makes a difference to the world but also more importantly improves our own wellbeing by giving us new purpose, feeling of belonging to something much bigger and knowing we are doing what we can.

“All journeys happen one step at a time, all change happens one choice at a time.”

Tim's message of hope Pic: Tim Saunders
Tim’s message of hope Pic: Tim Saunders

Tim completed the first part of this latest series of artworks in 2020.

After starting as a temporary installation on the Flag Market, Seek to Understand is now a living sculpture in Preston made up of 250 trees.

Over the next ten years it will become a hedge providing a biodiverse environment for wildlife as well as a carbon capturing scheme. It will be visible through Google Earth, spelling out its message of hope.

Read more: Message of hope left on Preston’s Flag Market by city artist

This second piece, Be the Change, is already a living self-help voluntary group set up by its members, all of whom have various mental health issues.

Without funding or any help from others, the group works together to improve the environment and their wellbeing by taking on weekly projects with nature and horticulture.

Tim said: “My passion is community and inclusivity, and I believe art should be freely available to all and accessible. Preston has some great resources and my intention is to use them by taking over public spaces for public art which I do not believe requires permission.

“My public art is designed to be flexible, easy to install and remove, to allow me to choose timings and for it to last for one day then to be removed without damage.

“I love to see people’s reactions and, as long as they are non-violent, I especially enjoy the negative responses on social media and always try to respond if I can, which has become part of the art work.

“I am also interested in ‘official’ responses and how the gatekeepers of the city deal with the challenge of art and non-conformity.

“I feel that although my art is in no way comparable, and is different, I do now better understand Banksy and his methodology.”

Read more: Mayor responds to Preston sign protest

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