This year’s Lakes Ignite festival saw six newly commissioned, contemporary pieces of art installed at various locations across the Lake District in response to the Lake District becoming a World Heritage site.
Lakes Ignite 2018 hailed a success as it attracts more out of county visitors exploring the region’s cultural landscape & boosting tourism
The artworks, which included performance, sculpture, virtual reality and an inflatable installation, formed the programme Lakes Ignite 2018.
Early assessment of the programme* shows that 64 per cent of the visitors to the festival were from outside the county. That is an increase in 16 per cent from 2017.
The increase in visitors is also benefitting the tourism industry with more people staying overnight as they visit art galleries, museums and literary destinations, with 37 per cent of those interviewed booking accommodation.
Lakes Ignite has been a great success and many of the installations will now be free to view for longer
Michael Shaw’s giant inflatable Slung will stay at Rheged until the end of November.
Di Mainstone’s captivating installation Time Mirror will also now be staying at Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House until September, with plans to tour the installation at venues across the county beyond the autumn.
Arctic Char, a sculpture depicting a shoal of Arctic Char, handmade in steel by Brian and George Fell will become a permanent attraction at the Ambleside Salutation Hotel.
Charlie Whinney’s installation, Mountains We Made at Grizedale, will become part of the permanent collection in the Forest as it celebrates its 50th year hosting landmark environmental sculpture.
The Lake District National Park was awarded World Heritage Site status for its cultural landscape in July 2017 and the Lakes Ignite installations were commissioned to respond to the historic event.
Richard Foster, Chief Executive of The Brewery Arts Centre, which also acts as lead organisation for Lakes Culture, said: “Lakes Ignite is about uniting the arts and tourism sectors. The Lake District has a defined culture, rich in music, theatre, poetry and visual art. We want to show that Cumbria is also a great place to experience new contemporary culture and that the iconic landscapes of the Lake District continue to influence artists today.
“Over the course of the project we have had a lot of success working directly with the tourism sector. Our efforts appear to be having an effect with more visitors coming to our festivals, galleries, museums, literary destinations and experiencing the landscape, boosting the economy.”
*A face-to-face survey of nearly 500 people was carried out to assess the impact of Lakes Ignite 2018.
// LAKES IGNITE ARTWORKS STILL OPEN + FREE TO VIEW
// Michael Shaw: Slung a site-specific inflatable at Rheged, Penrith
Now open to view December. Free.
A large inflatable sculpture called Slung is breathing life into the Mountain Hall at Rheged, the multidisciplinary arts space and culture hub. Michael Shaw says that it has a mild flavour of Dr Seuss, with a hint of Haribos and the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. Composed of two forms, which unite aerially, the sculpture suggests a pair of lungs that cyclically inflate and deflate as though breathing. Highly coloured with fluorescent pink and orange stripes, the sculpture strikes a dynamic presence.
// Brian and George Fell: Arctic Char at The Ambleside Salutation Hotel
Free to view outside the hotel.
A sculpture depicting a shoal of Arctic Char handmade in steel. Brian Fell is an artist based at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where he works with his son George. He has created many popular landmark sculptures on permanent display around the UK. The Arctic Char is one of the Lake District’s most notable examples of wildlife, the fish’s presence in the lakes dates back to the Ice Age and its survival there is an inspiring example of conservation.
// Charlie Whinney: Mountains We Made at Grizedale Forest
Next to the play area open now and will become part of the permanent collection.
Mountains We Made is created by Cumbrian based artist Whinney, from a series of ten steam bent sections of sustainably sourced oak from Grizedale Forest. Mountains We Made will now become part of the permanent collection at Grizedale Forest.
// Di Mainstone: Time Mirror at Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House
Free to view in the gardens at Blackwell until October.
Time Mirror is an interactive sculpture that will allow audiences of all ages to experience and capture the stunning Lake District surroundings in an experimental and abstract way. The Time Mirror is a large tessellated funnel shaped structure, covered in polished, mirror like steel, that can spin 360 degrees to reflect the landscape from any angle. It can also tilt to reflect the sky and mountains. It will also reflect back any participants and viewers that interact with it capturing them in the Lake District landscape. Visitors will be able to use the time mirror device to create abstract portraits of themselves set within the landscape at Blackwell.
// LAKES IGNITE 2018 MAP
// ABOUT LAKES CULTURE
Lakes Culture is a consortium comprising the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, Cumbria Tourism, Forestry Commission England, Lakeland Arts, Lake District National Park, Lake District Summer Music, National Trust, South Lakeland District Council, Theatre by the Lake in Keswick and the Wordsworth Trust.
Lakes Culture is delivering a Cultural Destinations project funded by Arts Council England. Our project ambition is to strengthen the relationship between the tourism and cultural sectors in the region to promote the Lake District as the UK’s leading rural cultural destination.
The Lake District is now a World Heritage Site, joining the iconic Taj Mahal, Great Barrier Reef and Grand Canyon as an internationally acclaimed destination. The announcement took place on Sunday 9th July 2017 in Krakow leading to jubilation among 25 organisations in the Lake District National Park Partnership, which had put the bid together for UNESCO recognition in the cultural landscape category.