The Bleach Packers

Through a series of creative workshops, lead artist Lou Chapelle collaborated with local creative practitioners and young people who live and study in Halton to create costumes, dance, poetry, and sound.

Together, they have re-imagined the Bleach Packers, iconic workers from the borough’s past, by creating holographic video and augmented reality images.

The resulting artwork enacts a surreal Bleach Packer’s dream, in which he finds himself transformed, torn between chemical and nature.

The final video was presented as a double layer projection video, 7 x 5 x 4.5 meter wide, in public spaces (Tesco Extra, Runcorn Shopping City, St Marie’s Church). An Augmented Reality Bleach Packer has been placed in seven locations around Halton, and is accessible through people’s mobile devices.

The Bleach Packers is part of the Celebrating Halton’s Heritage project which is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of Halton’s Borough of Culture 2021 celebrations.

More information and behind the scenes available here. More information about Halton’s heritage can be found at Catalyst and on the Halton Heritage Partnership website

and the workers- the Irish, the English,
Lithuanian and Polish too
wearing capes, battled the dangerous gases,
hydrochloric acid
risked coughing and choking
to make magic, to make magic, to make
a magic potion called bleach
to clean the germs and dirt for you
to whiten cotton, linen, silk
in with chlorine gas
out with alkaline lyes and buttermilk