2024 Festival Dates: 6 & 7 July

Of Earth and Sky

In Spring 2021, Lancashire went BIG with words of inspiration and hope as HUGE letters hit the streets of Blackburn and Darwen.

This installation finished on the 1st July 2021

About the project


An installation by artist Luke Jerram, in collaboration with poet Hafsah Aneela Bashir of the Poetry Health Service.

For three months, Of Earth And Sky saw giant-sized poetry appear in over 30 locations in Blackburn and Darwen from professional and amateur poets based locally, regionally and nationally. In addition to the trail, more poetry could be seen daily on the digital screen in Blackburn Town Centre.

Hover over the map to find out where each poem was located and click to read the full poem.

Search the hashtag ‘festivalofmaking’ on social media to see photos shared of the project. 

Click below to watch a short film documenting the project, produced by Videographer Jake Powell and commissioned by The National Festival of Making.

About the Poetry


Through a call out to the people of Lancashire, 130 poem submissions were whittled down to a selection of 11 excerpts by Hafsah Aneela Bashir and the panel of curators.

These excerpts sat alongside those from a selection of internationally renowned poets, each of whom featured in Hafsah’s Poetry Health Service.

By using the map above, you can find the author behind each poem.

About the Artists

Hafsah Aneela Bashir


Hafsah Aneela Bashir is a Manchester-based poet, playwright & performer originally from East London. Founder and co-director of Outside The Frame Arts, she is passionate about championing voices outside the mainstream, challenging the gatekeepers of knowledge and increasing diverse representation within the arts.

Winner of the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship 2019, she is an Associate Artist with The Poetry Exchange, Associate Artist with Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Supported Artist at The Royal Exchange Theatre, Mcr. Her debut poetry collection The Celox And The Clot is published by Burning Eye Books. She has worked creatively with Manchester International Festival, Ballet Black Ldn, HOME Theatre Mcr, Manchester Literature Festival, ANU Productions Irl and the Imperial War Museum. She is currently writing the libretto for The Bridge Between Breaths, a FormidAbility & Tete a Tete festival commission exploring Britain’s involvement in the Transatlantic slave trade and is founder and Creative Director of the recently launched, Poetry Health Service – a free service providing poetry panaceas as a tool for connection and healing with over 80 contributors.


Poetry Health Service

Luke Jerram


Luke Jerram’s multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in the UK but working internationally since 1997, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects which have excited and inspired people around the world. He is now known globally for his innovative arts practice and large scale public artworks.

With many of his artworks in permanent collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Wellcome Collection in London, he also tours his art installations to art festivals and museums. Working with some of the most established cultural organisations to create his artworks, in 2019 alone, he had 117 exhibitions in 22 different countries around the world. In 2020 was given an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bristol, made an Honorary Academician of the RWA and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Funders and Partners

Of Earth and Sky was originally commissioned by the Gloucester Culture Trust

Poetry Health Service was originally commissioned by Home Mcr & Oldham Coliseum

The project in Lancashire has been made possible by funding and partnership support from Arts Council England, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Super Slow Way, Graham & Brown and Blackburn Rovers Football Club.



2019 Trusts & Foundations

The National Festival Of Making Delivery Team

National Festival of Making is supported by the Arts Council England, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Brian Mercer Trust and Foundations and Partners. This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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