“I’m absolutely blown away at the response we’ve had,” Natalie George tells us. “I never expected it to be this big.”
Natalie is, of course, talking about the Platform Project, a joint venture with her partner Cain Bramley (you might know the duo better as the team behind Creative Arts Tattoo Studio).
Just in case you haven’t heard of it yet, Platform Project is a monthly event, offering a performance space for a variety of local talent – from live bands to photographers, poets to drag queens. The extravaganza has found its home in the newly opened community Gallery, which Cain and Natalie opened as an extension of their tattoo studio.
“The idea for the Gallery and Project Platform only started around six weeks ago. We had the space at the back of the shop that we wanted to renovate, and an artist’s hub was always something we wanted to create together.”
“We’ve been able to create a venue where our community feels empowered and can flourish. Burnley our life, and the people here mean everything to us.”
“There was already a ready-made network of artists in Burnley, they just needed somewhere where they could perform, create, exhibit – and the new space allows them to do just that. We’ve already got a few artists booked in for residencies, including rapper MeLeon.”
You might remember us doing a story on MeLeon last week – he’s already got plans for a special gig on Mad Friday at the Gallery.
“Cain and Natalie have given us an amazing place to operate,” says MeLeon, “and I’m taking full advantage of it”.
“I’ve got a list of local artists from in and around the area, as well as some big city names, who are going to perform at the Gallery. It’s a great opportunity for us to grow our music scene here.”
Although they’re both music and art lovers, Cain is known for his fine arts background and love of arts, music and painting, Natalie is used to managing the tattoo studio– skills she’s transferred to the Gallery and Platform Project.
“We’ve got people booked in for the next four months,” Natalie told us. “We’re local people, offering a space for local people to thrive and do what they love, and the Platform Project means that they also have somewhere to perform as well. The Gallery will be open during the day for workshops and for people to come down and write, paint, draw, take photos.”
“It’s great to see people also using the Gallery as a place to network – artists are meeting other artists and working together to create other projects and shows.”
Burnley’s favourite drag queen, Eltariel Avelorn, is also planning on creating a drag night.
Eltariel, otherwise known as Alex, said: “The Gallery and Platform Project is the perfect addition to our town”.
“I’m in the process of planning a regular continuation of the act I performed at the Platform Project. Drag has landed, and found a home to flourish, in Burnley. I expect other artists who needed somewhere to perform will be glad of the new venue, and it’s in such a prime location! The future of Burnley is bright.”