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07/10/2013 / katiemcgivney

Ritual and place: following the Preston Guild 2012

Last year saw Preston City centre transformed into a hub of cultural activity in order to mark the vicennial Preston Guild Celebrations.

An important part of Preston’s history. The guild’s programming  has developed over the years in order to reflect Preston’s diverse and multi-cultural background, with events such as The Black Parade (Curated by In Certain Places) and Caribbean Carnival, both celebrating alternative cultures in and around Preston. Adding new layers of meaning to Prestons representation, alongside more traditional events such as the Torchlight procession (a Guild tradition since 1882).

A year on from the Guild and Preston is set to become a hotbed for discussion and debate again, through the delivery of the architectural intervention Harris Flights. Hoping to build on the legacy of the guild, its site specifity (Market Square) and timing aim to temporarily transform Preston into a cultural destination. In an attempt to change the ritualised ways audiences interact with both Market Square and Harris Museum and art gallery.

Moreover, it has been posited that spectacles centered in or around the city contribute to both the regional and national idenity of a place and are embedded within a wider history. Thus, it will be interesting to see in the coming weeks the impact Harris Flights has on the surrounding area and any national/international attention it recieves. Hopefully it will follow in the Guild’s footsteps reaffirming Preston as a multifaceted and diverse place.


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