Category Archives: Public Realm

Thank you Mid Pennine Arts!

Today is my last day volunteering at Mid Pennine Arts, having taken on the role as Project Assistant a year ago today in order to complete a year in Industry as part of my Art and Design degree at the University of Leeds, I just want to say a massive thank you to Mid Pennine Arts for such an amazing and worthwhile year!

I have absolutely loved being a part of the MPA team this last year, working with such lovely people who are all so amazing at what they do has been very special.

When I applied to extend my degree to four years at University so that I could complete a year in industry I never imagined that I would get so much out of it! Thank you for giving me so much confidence in what I enjoy doing.

I remember sitting down with Nick (Creative Director) during my first couple of months and speaking about what it was that I wanted to achieve whilst working at Mid Pennine Arts. After helping artist Cath Ford a few weeks prior, running some primary schools workshops, I said that by the end of my placement I wanted to be running such sessions myself and to have brought something new to MPA. Thanks to the brilliant team who have given me lots of responsibility and trust I have been able to achieve this.

Over the past few weeks for example I have been running my own project ‘Banners, Protests and Campaigning with a group of high school pupils and this week we celebrated their hard work with their own pop up exhibition. It was lovely to see the girls faces when they saw there work displayed and being viewed by members of the public, they have worked so hard and have listened so amazingly to the advice and support I have given them.

Helping out with this years Todmorden Treat, artist Cath Ford gave me the confidence to lead several sessions. Hearing and seeing the children really enjoy the sessions I was delivering was great and I felt so confident interacting with them and helping them with what they were doing.

There have been many more highlights: Working alongside the brilliant Spodden Valley Revealed project manager Diana Hamilton in order to organise several events and seeing my proposal for ‘Character bags’ come to life has exceeded my expectations of what I would be doing as an intern. Helping to organise a very successful and sunny Burnley Canal Festival, embarking on various research trips and helping to source material for a huge exhibition which will be a part of the British Textiles Biennial. I was also really happy to be asked to work with the lovely Greenways Project Manager Shonagh Short to interview artists for a new commission. Working with such a range of partners and community members has been so valuable.

My time at Mid Pennine Arts has also encouraged me to take on further volunteering at a local women’s refuge, I feel so lucky to have had this experience and work with such strong and inspiring women.

I could continue on about all of the other fabulous things I have been involved in and the opportunities I have been given, but more importantly I want to say a massive thank you to everybody at Mid Pennine Arts and everybody else I have worked with, for making this my best year yet! A special thank you of course to Nick and Melanie for being fantastic hosts, it has been brilliant to work alongside you both and despite being dressed as an explorer many times I still want to work in the Arts!

The Famine Tower – Episode One (via SVR)

Aetiological monuments of hope for a future/past unknown… more from our Spodden Valley Revealed artist in residence David Chatton Barker…

…There is another much lesser-known endeavour carried out by 30 to 40 out-of-work mill operatives who carted stone to the top of Brown Wardle Hill (SD899187), which stands 1,312 ft above sea level on the South Pennine moors in Whitworth (on the other side of the valley from Rooley Moor). This massive quantity of stone was used to construct a monumental tower over several months, eventually reaching the grand height of 28ft and known by seemingly very few people as The Tower of Babel…

Read more on the fascinating history connecting Haslingden flagstone, the Lancashire Cotton Famine, the American Civil War and the construction, perhaps, of a monumental tower on Brown Wardle Hill in Famine Tower – Episode One on the SVR blog.

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…

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

The Limer’s Gal and the Queen of the Well… (via SVR)

As part of the Spodden Valley Revealed project David Chatton Barker makes a start as artist in residence at Brown Wardle, introducing his artistic approach, his relationship with this ‘noble and majestic hill’ and how he will explore its landscape and history through a toolbox of creative means…

Vist the SVR blog to read more