10 Day Countdown to Lake District PaperBridge

PaperBridge by Steve Messam, coming to the Lake District from 8 - 18 May Model of PaperBridge by Steve Messam, coming to the Grisedale Valley 8 -18 May Model of the PaperBridge by Steve Messam Model of the PaperBridge by Steve Messam

There are just ten days to go until PaperBridge – a unique large-scale temporary installation made entirely from bright red paper, traversing a flowing river in the iconic Lake District landscape, opens as part of ‘Lakes Ignite’, Lakes Culture’s showcase spring arts programme.

PaperBridge has been the dream of its creator Steve Messam’s for over three years, this project continues his series of ambitious temporary installations in rural landscapes. As with previous works, PaperBridge is a bold contemporary statement in a conserved environment and bound with layers of narrative about landscape, whilst remaining accessible to all. The artist brings with him over ten years’ experience in delivering large-scale projects in the landscape and an international reputation.

The installation is made from paper specially made by James Cropper at their Burneside Mill, near Kendal. As a leading manufacturer in coloured paper the piece also celebrates the world-class manufacturing that takes place in Cumbria. James Cropper is the only paper mill in the world capable of producing paper of such vibrancy and colour to the strict environmental standards this piece requires.

In short, PaperBridge could not happen anywhere else other than Cumbria. Paper is a simple material made from wood pulp and water. The intensity of colour being used in the bridge will contrast with the verdant landscape making a bold statement of form and design. Alongside this the materials being used have a resonance with the natural environment and the construction of the bridge also reflects local architectural forms, specifically of pack horse bridges found throughout the area. All of the paper used in PaperBridge will be recovered and returned to the Burneside Mill for recycling into new paper. This transparent cycle is part of the overall environmental narrative of the piece.

Situated between two parallel paths in the Grisedale Valley, near Patterdale, it is envisaged that during the 10 day duration (8 – 18 May) the installation will act as a temporary bridge between the two sides for pedestrians over the river in the Grisedale Valley, a 2 mile walk from Patterdale, OS grid ref: NY 362 144.

Steve Messam, creator of PaperBridge, said:

‘’The Lake District has a long and important history in the perception of landscape and aesthetics. PaperBridge is part of this continuing and evolving legacy and I’m so pleased it forms part of Lakes Culture’s spring programme ‘Lakes Ignite’. The piece is a temporary artwork made for and about the landscape of the Lake District, based on vernacular stone bridge construction dating back to Roman times. On an aesthetic level the piece acts as a focal point within a vast open landscape. The bright red colour drawing the eye and interfering with the natural environment, while at the same time creating compositional balance with the green backdrop and flow of water.’’

Lakes Culture’s Lakes Ignite programme hopes to showcase and celebrate cultural highlights in Lake District – find out more here

To enjoy this cultural event and much more, book your break in the Lake District here