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About Us

 

Animating public spaces with art, design and culture

 
 
 

Deco Publique was founded by Elena Gifford and Lauren Zawadzki in 2014 and is based in Morecambe, just off the Victorian Promenade. Our aspiration is to bring the quality of international cultural experiences to the places we live and work - seaside spaces, waterfronts and northern towns. 

Our practice centres on creative regeneration and placemaking in civic spaces. We devise cultural festivals both large and small, and projects that link communities with creative opportunities. Deco Publique has produced award-winning festivals including Vintage by the Sea and Transatlantic 175, and in 2017 we launched the groundbreaking National Festival of Making in Blackburn

From creative development to operations we collaborate with clients to deliver new work from inception to evaluation.

We love creating unforgettable moments in civic spaces - transforming seafronts, canal towpaths and town centres with uplifting, accessible and memorable experiences.

 
 

Our Team

 

 
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Lauren Zawadzki

Director

With an extensive background in large scale commercial construction, Lauren brings a unique practical and commercial knowledge to the cultural industries.

Lauren leads on overall festival direction and Deco Publique business development. With an interest in music and theatre and a first class honors degree from Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Lauren curates our festival music stages and club nights. She has brought the likes of Hacienda’s Mike Pickering, Dave Haslam and Graham Park to Morecambe's seafront. 

Lauren also commissions new music and food based projects for festivals including work with More Music and Beatphreak and The Town is the Menu with Nigel Haworth at Blackburn's National Festival of Making.

There is almost no area of Deco Publique planning, production and curation that Lauren doesn't have a hand in.

@LaurenZawadzki

Elena Gifford

Director

Elena initiates and produces creative work from festivals to art commissions with an aim of creating high-quality, meaningful interventions in public spaces, bringing fantastic experiences to communities.

Recent work includes commissioning and creatively producing Art in Manufacturing - a residency programme that saw nine artists work with mass manufacturers in Pennine Lancashire. The project animated Blackburn with installations and performances in the towns most contemporary and most historic spaces. As part of this project Elena also commissioned the film, Front Room Factories.

Working with specialists, Elena leads PR, communications and design development for Deco Publique’s projects and with the team develops the creative programme across festivals and events. 

Elena’s is currently working around the 90 mile Morecambe Bay coastline to produce a series of Landscape Art Commissions for Morecambe Bay Partnership’s Headlands to Headspace project.

@ElenaKates

 

 

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Alex Zawadzki

Creative Producer 

Alex works as a freelance Creative Producer, a role that requires her to ‘make stuff happen’ by establishing exciting, considered art and cultural projects that are delivered effectively and efficiently. 

She works broadly across projects from establishing creative concepts to planning their logistics, spending considerable time researching, curating and programming Deco Publique’s cultural festivals across workshops, exhibitions, performance, outreach programmes and markets; but equally as much time tweaking spreadsheets, fine-tuning budgets or writing funding applications.

For Festival of Making 2019, Alex curated Industrialised: Art in Manufacturing in the Gallery at Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery - an exhibition of artists featuring contemporary reflections on the rich layers and stories of making and manufacturing, seen through the lens of eleven multi-disciplinary international artists. In addition to being involved across a multitude of Festival projects, Alex produced outreach work ‘Less Waste, More Taste’ with Great Place Housing Association. The project focused on making food and the role it plays in our environment, health & wellbeing with mass cooking sessions that taught new skills and highlighted issues around food waste.

Her personal work explores the social impact of transient folklore and rituals in particular the use of masks, costumes and disguises under the Instagram handle Aggressive Passive. Alex recently interviewed the collaborative art and music collective Kokoko for Art & Music Magazine.

She is also a Director of Prism Contemporary, an artist-led gallery and artists studio space in Blackburn.

 
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Ruth Monks

Digital Marketing Assistan

Ruth is a fine artist from the North West of England who has recently graduated from Lancaster University. She started working with Deco Publique on placement through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Internship programme at Lancaster University. During her internship she created content for Festival of Making platforms and on the weekend itself, took over the Arts Council England Instagram with a National Festival of Making Takeover. After completing a six months placement, Ruth joined Deco Publique as freelance Digital Marketing Assistant. She’s now responsible for generating content for our online platforms for National Festival of Making, Vintage by the Sea and Deco Publique. 

Ruth aims to build a career in raising accessibility within the arts and has previously delivered a pop-up exhibition in Open Eye gallery, Liverpool. She is a current research fellow with the British Council during the Venice Biennial 2019 where she is furthering her own practice whilst curating the world of Cathy Wilkes in the British Pavilion. Ruth writes critically about the arts and will be featured in an upcoming issue of The Emotional Art Magazine which is stocked by Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Housmans and South London Gallery.

 
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Deco Publique Crew

For each activity we call on our brilliant crew who help us make amazing things possible - building, shifting, creating, getting in, getting out, and celebrating at the end. 

We work with production and PR specialists to deliver and promote events and designers and artists to visualise and create work.

Check out new opportunities to work with us and follow us on socials @decopublique for open calls.

 
 

JOIN US HERE TO FOLLOW OUR WORK AND FIND HOW TO GET INVOLVED

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Deco Publique has been supported with funding kindly provided by