Talking art with Brian Fell… sculptor of Arctic Char

ARCTIC CHAR by Brian and George Fell Brian Fell's shoal of Arctic Char will be outside the Ambleside Salutation for Lakes Ignite 2018 You can see Arctic Char by Brian and George Fell outside The Ambleside Salutation Brian and George Fell in their studio

Introducing Brian Fell… a Liverpool born artist and sculptor based at a studio in Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where I work with my son, George. I have been creating artworks for about forty years, mainly in steel. Some of my most famous pieces are large-scale public sculptures that have gone on to become well loved landmarks. I am a ‘hands-on’ artist, I form the steel by hand using hammers to beat it into shape.

What will you be creating for Lakes Ignite 2018?

We are making a shoal of steel Arctic char. There will be about 10 fish each about 3 times life-size, so approximately 1m each. They will be realistically presented and arranged in a dynamic formation, as though captured in mid-motion.

This sculpture will be a celebration of the Arctic char’s continuing survival in the Lake District and its distinctive relationship with the landscape.

Sounds interesting… tell us more about your artwork

The Arctic char, though not unique to the Lakes, is arguably one of the Lake District National Park’s most well known examples of wildlife. Originally a sea fish like the salmon, in the Ice Age it was trapped in the lakes in the Lake District. It has come close to extinction, but now with the help of the Environment Agency stocks are improving.

What are the connections between your artwork for Lakes Ignite and the Lake District as a World Heritage cultural landscape?

This sculpture will be a celebration of the Arctic char’s continuing survival in the Lake District and its distinctive relationship with the landscape. This sculpture relates strongly to the theme of conservation – the Lake District is the southernmost location of the Arctic char’s habitat and therefore its survival acts as a barometer for climate change. Much of the landscape in the Lake District is used for agriculture so this fish’s survival is an inspiring example of a successful intervention in decline of a species.

Where will people be able to see your artwork?

Outside The Ambleside Salutation Hotel from 18 January.

And a few questions about the Lake District… What makes the Lakes a special place for you?

As a person who works with imagery, what’s not to like? The rugged landscape is famously inspiring. I also have an enthusiasm for boats, of which there is ample supply on the lakes.

During a visit to the Lake District what would be your 3 fave cultural hot spots or events?

Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House – I’d like to live there. L’Enclume restaurant, for its magical food. Cartmel, it has the priory, the brewery and a great cheese shop.

If you could choose your one favourite view in the Lakes, where would it be?

My favourite view would probably be looking at the food on my plate in L’Enclume.

See more of Brian and George Fell’s work at

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


In the heart of the Lakes, amid dramatic fells and picturesque valleys you will find the Ambleside Salutation Hotel & Spa. Enjoying a village center location with breathtaking views, the hotel is ideal for a Lake District break any time of the year. Book a stay at the Salutation Hotel to be your base as you explore this and the other Lakes Ignite installations in the National Park.

The Ambleside Salutation Hotel: Lake Road, Ambleside, LA22 9BX

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Lakes Ignite 2018 presents six specially commissioned contemporary artworks to celebrate the Lake District’s designation as a World Heritage site. From January to July 2018, six artists are bringing their creative vision to the Lakes in a unique collection of artworks that are free to visit and explore.

A celebration of contemporary art in a World Heritage landscape

Each installation provides a different perspective on our World Heritage story using very different media including metal, wood, mirrors, inflatables, performance and virtual reality. So, whether you’re 8 or 80, come and spark your imagination in 2018 and experience art in our celebrated Lake District landscape.

Tell us what you think about Lakes Ignite and be entered into a draw to win a hamper of Cumbrian goodies courtesy of Rheged!

Lakes Ignite 2018 – Festival Map
Lakes Ignite 2018 – Festival Map