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Brighter window display to help inspire during lockdown

Competition winner, Rachel Scott, and her dog Barney, enjoy the mini-exhibition on Paternoster Row in Carlisle during lockdown.

Plans for an exhibition of inspirational images from across Cumbria have gone ahead despite lockdown.

Winning entries in the recent Brighter For You photography competition feature in the mini exhibition, which can be seen in a window display in Carlisle city centre. And it is hoped that other businesses might follow suit and use their windows to feature artists and photographers.

People across the county have been sharing photos and videos throughout this year that depict things that make life brighter in the region in the competition which was run by The Cumberland.

The images can be seen on Paternoster Rows in the windows of Intro, the PR and social media company, and will be on display until early next month

Cumberland Building Society’s campaign manager, Tom Little said: “Some of the entrants we received for the Brighter For You competition were absolutely stunning, so it is an honour for us to host this unique pop-up exhibition to showcase them.

“I think we’re all in need of a bit of inspiration at the moment, and these photos have that in abundance. It’s been lovely hearing people’s feedback to them in the few days they’ve been on display.”

The Cumberland launched the Brighter For You competition on social media in August and there were more than 400 entries, including moving family photos, pets, local landscapes and Cumbrian nature at its finest.

Starring in the display are the five winning entrants: Carol Copley, whose video showed her elderly parents making the most of the time together during lockdown; Caroline Patterson’s stunning sunflower and bumble bee shot; Rachel Scott’s pet portrait of her dog, Barney; Ceara Hayden’s St Bee’s sunset; and Rachel Willan’s adorable image of her son and his prize-winning sheep.

Carol Copley said: “I sent a video of my 92-year-old dad dancing with my 90-year-old mum.

“They have remained cheerful throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and even though they love getting out and about have shielded because of their age.

“It has been a challenge but they are wonderful and I thought the video summed up that you can carry on smiling and laughing during these weird times.”

Rachel Scott said: “Barney always makes my day brighter but I was so happy to hear that my picture of him was selected and displayed as a winner of the Brighter For You competition.

“Now more than ever I think it’s important to focus on the things that brighten your day, so I’m hoping my photo might even make someone else smile too.”

The exhibition had originally been planned as a pop-up event at Intro’s HQ in the Historic Quarter on Paternoster Row, but it wasn’t able to go ahead due to lockdown restrictions. Moving the showcase to the building’s window has given more people the chance to view this beautiful collection of photographs.

Intro director Helen Statham said: “You can’t resist a smile when looking at the Brighter For You exhibition window. The photos and stories are a great pick-me-up if you’re walking through town during the lockdown.

“It would be brilliant if other empty shops and windows in the city centre could be used in a similar way to promote the talent and creativity that we have in the region.

“At Intro, we’ll definitely continue to showcase artists, makers and independent businesses with the space we have in Carlisle’s historic quarter.

“It might not be exactly how we’d planned it, but we’d like to thank The Cumberland for working with us to create a fantastic pop-up exhibition.”

The Brighter For You pop-up exhibition can be seen at Intro HQ, 7 Paternoster Row until December 5th.

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