Curious stuff in store for Blackburn

Published Monday 24 February 2014 at 15:40

A ‘Curiosity Shop’ is set to be unveiled on March 6 with help from the Blackburn is Open scheme.

After two rounds of successful taxidermy sessions hosted at Blackburn Museum and the Blackburn is Open pop up art centre, Nicola Hebson is opening her very own shop.

Aptly called Nicola Hebson’s Curiosity Shop, it will be brimming with ethical taxidermy, art, jewellery and oddities and Nicola promises it will be like ‘walking into her brain’.

Nicola’s shop launch will coincide with the launch of First Thursdays – Blackburn is Open’s new monthly events programme which will see venues opening till late with events full of food, fashion and film.

Situated across from Blackburn Central Library, part of Nicola’s shop will double as her workshop where she also plans to host her next round of taxidermy sessions.

She’s currently working hard to transform the unused space into somewhere fitting to display her art. She said: “I have been restoring the original wood floor with help from my boyfriend.

“We’ve sanded and coated it in vinegar and wire wool to oxidise and age the wood and cleaned it fully with bicarbonate of soda.

“Lots of the interior will be vintage style, with a woodland nature theme and the taxidermy displayed within the shop will be surreal and magical. There will be many oddities for sale alongside the art and taxidermy as well as my jewellery line ‘dead good’ jewellery”.

“I hope to attract people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe! The shop will be a working progress and I hope for it to get more magical as time goes on”.

Nicola has been dreaming about opening her own shop for a while and is confident that her new venture will be a success.

She said: “Anyone starting up a new shop business from scratch will have many natural anxieties about how it’s all going to pan out, but the Blackburn is Open team have been there whenever I’ve needed them and have helped me every step of the way.

“Wayne Hemingway is a lovely person and he fully supports what I am doing, so having the encouragement from such an established designer like him makes me feel very confident about what I am trying to achieve with my art.

“I really want it to be a place to be inspired and something new for Blackburn!” she added.

Executive Member for Regeneration, Councillor Maureen Bateson said: “This is a prime example of the Blackburn is Open scheme providing a potentially life changing opportunity for one of our truly talented young people.

“Giving creatives like Nicola access to our empty shops and spaces is how we will create a one of a kind shopping experience for the people of Blackburn to enjoy, while attracting visitors to our town”.

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