Contemporary Heritage: A New Way of Seeing

Mid Pennine Arts and Towneley Hall partner on the first Contemporary Heritage commission

BURNLEY’s Towneley Hall and Park is gearing up for the imminent launch of Contemporary Heritage featuring the work of nationally acclaimed artist Geraldine Pilgrim.
Not Forgotten, which opens on Saturday 11th September, forms part of Contemporary Heritage, a Mid Pennine Arts partnership programme inspired by the historic venues that Pennine Lancashire is home to. Rebecca Alexander Mid Pennine Arts’ Visual Arts and Projects Officer, said: “Pennine Lancashire has a wealth of sites, from Castles to Towers, all rich with stories and history. We are working with our partner venues to commission artists to create new work in response to these stunning locations.”
“We are passionate about the cultural heritage we have in Pennine Lancashire and the opportunity Contemporary Heritage offers visitors to experience major works of art outside a city environment by artists of national and international standing.”
Not Forgotten is the latest work of artist Geraldine Pilgrim, whose installations reveal memories and atmospheres, as well as the history of the space. It is something of a coup for Pennine Lancashire that the first commission of this flagship project has been awarded to Geraldine Pilgrim, a highly acclaimed artist whose previous work has been commissioned by organisations as varied as Girl Guides UK, English Heritage, The National Review of Live Art Festival, The National Trust and Liverpool’s Bluecoat Gallery.
The Not Forgotten installation, commissioned for Towneley Hall and Park, has been inspired by a distinctive portrait of John and Mary Towneley and their seven sons and seven daughters. The work will enable people to experience Towneley in new ways and will cast light on elements of the history of the location that present a compelling meditation on memory and loss.
Mid Pennine Arts have been working with Mike Townend, Towneley’s Senior Curator to develop the programme. Mike said: “We’re looking at new ways of using our collections – so to have provided the inspiration for a nationally recognised contemporary artist is fantastic. We really hope this will engage people and take contemporary art to a new audience.”
“People will begin to see Towneley in new ways – with installations in both the grounds and the Hall. You can stand in a window at Towneley and look out at the installation in the landscape and it gives the place a different perspective. We call it ‘Looking in: looking out’. “
Mid Pennine Arts Creative Director Nick Hunt, said: “Towneley are great partners and we are really excited that Contemporary Heritage is set to launch at Towneley. It’s a really fitting location for Geraldine Pilgrim’s installations and I’m sure Not Forgotten will prove to be extremely engaging and memorable.”
He added: “This marks the latest step for Mid Pennine Arts’ ambitions to see Pennine Lancashire become an arts, culture and heritage destination. Mid Pennine Arts bring art, people and places together to transform perceptions and change lives.”
If you require further information, images or would like to interview Geraldine Pilgrim, Artist, Nick Hunt, Creative Director and Rebecca Alexander, Visual Arts and Projects Officer from Mid Pennine Arts and – please call Rob Carder from Mid Pennine Arts on 01282 421 986 or email
Further Contemporary Heritage installations are being developed with our Lancashire County Council and our partner venues, Clitheroe Castle Museum, Gawthorpe Hall, Helmshore Mills Textile Museum and Turton Tower.

About Mid Pennine Arts

Mid Pennine Arts is a driving force for the arts, recognised nationally for devising and delivering exemplary integrated creative programmes. We bring art, people and places together to transform perceptions and change lives. The vast experience of our team ensures excellence across a range of arts disciplines and responds to identified needs. Our work with private, public or community sector clients inspires participants, unlocks aspiration and reignites civic pride.
We are an independent charity. We’re based in Pennine Lancashire but our work and influence extends way beyond into county –wide projects and into West Yorkshire. Our work has achieved national and international recognition. Our most successful work is developed through partnerships, networks and creative collaborations. Our work is people-centred and people-friendly – it celebrates diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. We embody a spirit of discovery, and integrate creative learning into all our projects. We strive for the best possible creative results, and the most ambitious impacts. We’re always aiming to break new ground in the content, the context and the outcomes of our work.

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