Category Archives: Cultural Tourism

The Reveal Continues (via SVR)

Spodden Valley Revealed Project Manager, Diana Hamilton, brings us up to date with the latest landscape improvement works.

Following the works at Cowm Reservoir (read all about that here), our SVR capital programme has been upgrading elements along the greenway and some of the spurs that lead off into the landscape. The works will help increase access and improve the spaces where the Spodden Valley stories of the landscape will be revealed and told through a variety of creative methods, including: artist installations; audio; performances; printed and online guides.

Read more on the Spodden Valley Revealed blog…

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Public Art Commission for Shoe Mill/Five Arches

Pennine Lancashire Greenways

Artists’ Brief – Public Art Commission for Shoe Mill/Five Arches

Majestic viaducts, dark tunnels, ancient mill ruins, shady woodedgroves…  Lancashire’s new sustainabletransport plan links up stretches of disused railway into off-road greenways,  and offers some brilliant opportunities for creative interpretation.  MPA and Lancashire County Council, along with local partners, are working together to deliver a series of artist-led interventions which engage local communities, stimulate curiosity and interest in heritage and the natural environment, foster a sense of pride in the emerging new routes and build community ownership for the long term.

Background

The strategic transport plan for Lancashire is made possible bygovernment funding through the Regional Growth Fund.  The plan is led by our partners at Lancashire County Council.  Up to 2020, they are investing millions of pounds in joining up the dots of some existing but fragmented cycle routes based on old railway lines, working towards a more joined up network.  LCC asked MPA to bring a creative dimension to the programme, and we are delighted to be working with them.

The Routes

The work is focused on two key routes. The Valley of Stone Greenway will run from Rochdale all the way through Rossendale to Rawtenstall.  In Hyndburn, part of the Sustrans national cycle network, NCN route 6, to be named The Branch Line, will link Accrington down past Haslingden and Helmshore to Ramsbottom.

The Commission

This commission is for a gateway feature at the Shoe Mill/Five Arches junction, a central node that links The Branch Line to key facilities like Haworth Gallery and Hollins Technology College and the newly designated Woodnook Local Nature Reserve. It is also a site with strong links to the industrial and railway heritage of the area.

The final piece should accentuate the connectivity and range of destinations, and may take the form of paving or furniture, although we are open to a range of ideas. It should be low maintenance and the materials/form should take into account the location in terms of exposure to the elements. It should utilise the positive themes of local heritage, collective memories and shared experience. 

This commission, to include all fees and costs for research, design, fabrication and installation will be offered at the fixed price of £3,000.

The commissioning panel will include representatives from Haworth Gallery and Hollins Technology College and it is expected that the selected artist will work with a group of young people from Hollins Technology College in developing the final design of the artwork.

The Artist

The selected artist will have a strong track record in creating work for the public realm. They will have appropriate Public Liability Insurance and a current DBS certificate.

To Apply

To apply for this commission, please send:

  • A letter expressing why you are interested in this commission and how you would approach it.
  • An up to date CV.
  • Examples of relevant previous work (images, web links etc).

To shonagh@midpenninearts.org.uk before 5pm on 9th January 2019.

Interviews are likely to be held in January 2019 with an expectation that the artist will begin work in February 2019 and the final piece will be installed by the summer of 2019.

For an informal chat about this commission please contact Shonagh on the above email to arrange a phone call.

For more information about MPA, the project and our range of work, please visit our website

We look forward to hearing from you!

Archive map in Manchester’s Victoria Station

A Radical Update

We have a new blog for our project Pendle Radicals called The Radical Echo. Do take a look around. Why not start with this recent update post about activities over the last couple of months…

Click here for morePHL_projects_radicals

Building walls, community and skills… (via SVR)

A snapshot of what’s been happening as part of Spodden Valley Revealed recently, from this SVR blog.  Featuring drystone walling; artist in residence; Rushcart; researching the stories of Spodden Valley..

Read more

David Chatton Barker - 1

 

via the Spodden Valley Revealed blog

Pendle Radicals Needs Your Help!

Pendle Radicals is a brilliant new project which will be exploring Pendle Hill’s amazing heritage of radical thinkers and non-conformists. Unfolding over four years from spring 2018, the project will carry out research, commission new art and celebrate its findings with community events.

In order to get things started, we need volunteers to get researching: bringing history to life, infusing familiar locations with new meaning and building pride of place in the process.

Who do we mean by Pendle Radicals?  They include George Fox, founder of the Quakers, who had his great vision on the summit of Pendle in 1651…  Sir Jonas Moore, known as the ‘father of time’, born at Higham and part responsible for the Greenwich Observatory and the creation of Greenwich Mean Time…  Selina Cooper, a hero of the suffrage movement in spite of having to work in the mills from the age of 12.  Selina, like many members of Nelson ILP (Independent Labour Party) made strong connections to Clarion House at Roughlee, now the last of the Clarion Clubs but still thriving and an inspiring location for followers of socialist politics.

Pendle Radicals Combined Image

These are just a first, few names, but the stories are many, and we are just starting on this exploration.  Over four years our project will bring some of those stories to life.  In doing so, we can give current residents, especially young people, a new understanding of their history, a reinforced sense of local identity and new pride in where they live.

ethel1_from-hbrown-1One particular local woman who might just spark your interest, is Ethel Carnie Holdsworth.  Ethel was a working-class writer, feminist, and socialist activist from Great Harwood. You may not have heard of her as she has been largely lost to history because of circumstances, but as a young woman she was a poet, journalist (for example writing for the Woman Worker in London), children’s writer and author.  She published at least ten novels during her lifetime and her work is significant not just locally but also nationally, as she is the first working class woman in Britain to be published.

We are excited to get started with Ethel especially as the National Poetry Archive are keen to add her to their list of poets whose poems can be heard and explored online, but also because we are hoping that her story can be told through story and song some time in 2019.

So if Ethel’s story has inspired you, or you have an interest in local history and want to tell the story of another particular individual, or special local place, please make contact with the Pendle Radicals team.  For volunteers on our research team, we offer training to develop your archive skills, excursions to investigate source material, and plentiful tea and biscuits.  We promise you a fascinating journey of discovery and chance to bring to life those who deserve not to be forgotten!

A presentation – A short introduction to the life and work of Ethel Carnie Holdsworth plus an overview of relevant sources (approximately 40 minutes in total) can be presented to local history groups or other groups who have an interest in bringing her story to life.  Just contact Nick Hunt, Creative Director at Mid Pennine Arts.

There will be a presentation about Pendle Radicals and a short introduction to the life and work of Ethel Carnie Holdsworth, plus an overview of relevant sources, on Tuesday 2 July from 2-4pm at One Sixty Café, 160 St James Street, Burnley. See the MPA website or contact Nick Hunt, Creative Director at Mid Pennine Arts for details of both, or the project in general.

 

Website:        www.midpenninearts.org.uk

Email:          nick@midpenninearts.org.uk

Phone:          01282 421986 ext: 209

 

 

 

 

 

Picasso y el flamenco

Another in the occasional series by our roving arts reporter, David Smith

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You all know Malaga; some fly over it, some drive round it, others sail past it but few stay in the city.  Well we did, and what a surprise: three days in Malaga!

I had no idea that the airport in Malaga was so big; it was huge….and it was raining. I am sure that it isn’t supposed to rain in Spain once you are off the plane! It was raining cats and dogs…wait, more than that…more like donkeys and elephants…it was torrential.

When we arrived at the hotel we were met with apologies: it was flooded.  We had to move.

The taxi dropped us off by the new hotel, much closer to the centre of the old town we were assured.  The driver vaguely waved at a bell by a doorway, indicated he could go no further and promptly left.  It was still raining.  I rang the bell… nothing… and again… nothing.  We fled to a cafe across the road and waited.  I rang the first hotel.  The number they had given me was their fax machine!  I ran through the rain again to press the bell again… nothing!  Soaked by this time I decided to look for another entrance; walked round the corner of the building to find that it was a pedestrianised area.  No wonder the taxi could go no further.  I found the main entrance to the hotel with a smiling and welcoming reception… what a fool I had been!  What a start to our three days in Malaga.

After borrowing umbrellas and finding a place to eat we were assured by a still smiling reception that tomorrow all would be well.

malaga cathedralMorning was bathed in glorious sunshine.  The Cathedral is always a good place to start.  It lies in the centre of the old town.  It was gloriously full of light.  The great paintings which formed the reredos of many of the chapels, so disappointingly dark in many of the other cathedrals we have visited, were wonderfully bright, full of vibrant colour.  It was a pleasure just to sit and look at them trying to work out which biblical story they illustrated before venturing over to read the small print.  The wood carvings on the choir stalls are magnificent.

After the Roman amphitheatre we began the steep climb to the Moorish Fort: the Alcazaba, which overlooks the city.  I confess that we gave up, came back down and took a taxi to the Parador which stands above the fortress to sip mint tea and cold beer to admire views along the coast and the city below.

parador-de-malaga-gibralfaro

flamenco

The evening offered live flamenco in a tiny theatre close to the Picasso Museum with a free glass of cava. Three dancers, one male, a guitarist and a singer offered an evening of fury and passion.  I love flamenco: the noise of the dancers’ heels on the wooden boards, the wail of singer,  the drama in the faces of the women as they feel their way into the dance, the spray of sweat from the dancer’s hair as he shakes his head.

It is as if they are dancing for themselves, ignoring our presence; yet we are totally engaged.  Fantastic!

Exhausted we fall into the street for another glass of cava to recover.

The following day the Picasso Museum is a joy.  I have enjoyed the reopening of his museum in Paris but I enjoyed this much more.

picasso museum 1

There’s a real feel of chronology as we are met with work from Picasso’s childhood and taken through his life into his 90’s.  The works are beautifully and spaciously hung, breathing life into the white walls, exploding with colour.  My only regret was that I saw nothing from his ‘blue period’.

picasso museum 2

Sitting in the museum’s shaded courtyard, sipping cold beer with music from a Spanish guitar drifting over the walls, I thought: ‘Hmm…I will come here again…’

Art gazing is tiring so what next?  The answer is obvious: two hours in a Turkish spa:  Hamman al Andalus, hot and cold bathing, hot stones, and a massage!

 

David Smith

Are you a bit ‘sniffy’ about musicals?

Another blog in the series from our roving arts & culture reporter David Smith

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Well I am… or at least I was…  Over a family meal when the subject of musicals came up I dismissed them all with:  “I don’t like musicals!”  And then, of course, I had to start trying to justify my arrogant posture.  “Come on Dad, explain yourself; that’s a bit of a scattergun approach…”

“Well, most of the audience are ‘of a certain age’.”

“Like you?”

“Well  yes; you don’t see the theatre full of young people.  The narrative is always weak, characterisation thin and often you are lucky to find one memorable song.”

Have you ever felt like you are walking on ice and you can feel the ice cracking underneath you with each step you take?  That is exactly how I felt and waited for the broadsides to come.

“Wait a minute; you took us to see Joseph, Blood Brothers, West Side Story, Cats… I suppose Billy Elliot doesn’t appeal to young people either!”,  and the list went on.  “They may not have the characterisation of King Lear but those theatres were full of young people.”

Basics in Burnley produces a musical each year with a cast wholly of young people, and you encouraged me to audition for Burnley Youth Theatre‘s West Side Story, came another voice across the table.

“Then you won’t want to have one of the tickets I’ve bought for Sweet Charity at the Royal Exchange”, chipped in my wife Kay enjoying my discomfort.

“I give in…”

And so at the  weekend we went to see Sweet Charity.  What a show!

new_sweet_charity_532

Charity Hope Valentine is a ‘hostess’ dancer in a New York gents’ club.  She falls in love with clients – always the wrong one – believing everything they say, longing for the marriage proposal which her friend know will never come.

Kaisa Hammalund is terrific as Charity.  She fills the stage with a an energy and vibrancy which left me exhausted.  She engages so perfectly with her audience that we are all wanting her love quest to succeed… the underlying irony in the show is that there is no charity on offer.  It highlights attitudes to women, makes fun of the excesses of 60’s hippies… and more.

The whole cast is excellent I can hardly say that there are no memorable songs when I am still singing them in the car: Rhythm of Life, Hey Big Spender, If My Friends could See Me Now, There’s  Gotta Be Something Better Than This.

The direction from Derek Bond is brilliant.  There is a disco sequence which took me back to my 60’s disco days with all the moves I attempted exaggerated and presented like a Matthew Bourne piece of choreography.  The scene where Charity finds herself in the bedroom of a film star when his partner returns, hiding under the bed and under a covered tea-trolley is hilarious.  The stage craft making use of a minimalist set allows each individual member of the audience to be engaged throughout yet showing smooth transitions between scenes with clever lighting.

…and the music from a band visible on stage throughout is magical.  It is a show that had me laughing out loud, miming the songs and tapping the lady’s foot next to mine.

Go and see it, if you can (on at the Royal Exchange, Manchester until 28 January).

I love musicals;  I can’t understand anyone who says they don’t… I’m off the see Strictly Ballroom at the West Yorkshire Playhouse next week… watch this space.!