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The Atkinson Takeover


Southport College’s students were given the opportunity to take over The Atkinson gallery with a series of exhibitions, installations and film screenings on Thursday, February 13.

The opportunity arose when the College’s Creative Media Production course team was approached by Sefton Council to help them promote the launch of the Heritage Lottery funded regeneration project taking place at King’s Gardens, Southport with a video.  Southport’s historic Seafront King’s Gardens were awarded over £4million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund as part of the Parks for People Programme.

The King’s Gardens Project Team had unearthed a promotional video from the 1950s, created by Sefton Council’s Tourism department which captured the resort in days gone by and included footage of the sea bathing lake, Peter Pan’s playground and the wooden Cyclone roller-coaster.

The students used the 50’s video as inspiration for their series of short films; one including daredevil aerial footage of Southport taken from a light aircraft! The films were shown to a packed audience in the newly-refurbished Atkinson theatre and received to rapturous applause.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Children, Schools, Families and Leisure, said: “The King’s Gardens Project Team stumbled across a promotional film for Southport made in the 1950s by the town’s tourism department.  The students were inspired by the film and accepted the mission to recreate the film in their own unique way, and updating it for 2014. The end result was very impressive and it will be great to use the footage in the visitor centre as the King’s Gardens scheme nears completion. The students were incredibly professional and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”


Sara Cassidy, Creative Media Production lecturer said “The students worked diligently to put their own stamp on a promotional video. The lottery funded project at the Kings Gardens is truly a stunning transformation and their films help to capture it. We work to live briefs all the time at Southport College to prepare our students for work or university but I have to say this has been one of the biggest projects ever.”

As the partnership between the College, Sefton Council and The Atkinson progressed the idea of a whole gallery takeover was agreed. This gave students from Southport College’s HND Photography, HND Graphic Design, Art & Design and Games Design Courses the opportunity to exhibit their work.


The HND Photography group’s work spans across an entire gallery and is entitled Strangers. The exhibition consists of portraits of strangers taken by the students. The portraits reflect the diverse society we live in and generate thought provoking moments for viewers.

Yvette Wheddon, Curriculum Leader for HND Photography said “When the opportunity to exhibit their work arose the students jumped at the chance. The students are in the final year of their HND course and their standard of work is truly exceptional. I would encourage anyone from the local area to go and view the exhibition at The Atkinson, it’s free and runs until 26 February.”

The students on the HND Graphic Design contribution includes a ‘live brief’ given to the group. The brief required the students to re-illustrate album covers by famous artists such as Adele, Pink Floyd and The White Stripes. The illustrations have been entered in to the competition, run by XL Recordings and the students are now waiting to hear if they have been shortlisted.

The Art & Design and Games Design students’ work completed the takeover with a unique installation of design pieces and a 3D animation showreel respectively.

The students’ Photography exhibition, Strangers, is available for viewing until 26 Feb and for further information please visit The videos, including the original 1950s tourist film can be seen on After the exhibition ends, the portraits will be able to be viewed at



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Last Updated on Monday, February 17, 2014