Category Archives: Art of Destination

Art of Destination: Sunshine, Souvenir and Skyping Shanghai

Lucy Green, MPA’s project manager for the event, recalls Art of Destination. 

The Art of Destination conference we held at Brockholes at the end of March was a fantastic success, and I think we’ve all just about recovered from the busy lead up to the event. Thanks to everyone who came along and who contributed, Lancashire County Council for commissioning the conference, and Arts Council for supporting it.

The invited speakers gave a great range of perspectives on their very own Art of Destination – we had Laurie Peake talking about some wonderful artists she has worked with through Liverpool BiennialSteve Messam skyping us from Shanghai to talk about his current projects; Assemble collective describing their fantastic self-initiated work Cineroleum and Folly for a Flyover, and international artist Marco Dessardo explaining his unique approach to creating site-specific work in a traditional gallery space.

Highlights were the beautiful sunny weather we were delighted to have for the day (let’s hope there is more to come!) and the fantastic turn-out that gave us the suitably eclectic audience mix we were hoping for, which really spanned the arts, culture, tourism and regeneration sectors: artists, architects, arts officers, designers, curators, County Councillors and commissioners were all in attendance.

The low point was the fact that Steve Messam’s wonderful piece Souvenir, commissioned by LCC especially for the event, was sadly damaged by vandals soon after it had been installed earlier in the week.  The first showing of the work in the UK following presentations in Shanghai and Venice, by the day of the conference it was far from its original wonderful and ethereal state.  However, some fantastic images remain of Souvenir, so we’re glad that we were at least able to document its fleeting existence so we could share it with the audience who attended, as well as show it online.

Audience feedback rated Brockholes as a fantastic venue, and it’s one we would definitely recommend as conference hosts as well. The conference venue itself is a large, spacious room with beautiful views over the water, and forms part of the Visitor Village that is floating on the lake at the reserve.  An amazing piece of architecture in some lovely landscape, the Village and surrounding site is well worth a visit.  Also, just as importantly, Brockholes passed the conference-goers ultimate test – brilliant catering!

You can see more details of the event and images here.


Brockholes is the Art of Destination.

Lancashire’s new wetland centre, Brockholes, which opened last year as a haven for birds and wildlife, is set to attract a different type of visitor this month. For one day, Brockholes will host Art of Destination, a unique conference event that aims to stimulate and inspire by exploring a range of exciting creative projects.

Art of Destination brings together projects that take derelict or unregarded space and transform it into somewhere special – new community assets, new kinds of visitor attraction, or ‘destination art’. Brockholes itself is a prime example – centred on a spectacular floating village of ecobuildings that were commissioned from an international design competition.

And Brockholes will have a unique look for the day, with an eye-popping temporary installation on site, specially commissioned from international artist Steve Messam.

Sneak peak of the temporary installation by Steve Messam which can be seen at Brockholes at the conference

The event, organised by Mid Pennine Arts in collaboration with Lancashire County Council, will showcase partnership work in the County, highlighting the European award winning Padiham Greenway programme alongside high profile, inspiring case studies from the region, the UK and beyond.

Guest speakers will include French artist Marco Dessardo, the London architecture collective Assemble and specialists from Liverpool Biennial, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Grizedale Forest. Commissioned artist Steve Messam will also be contributing to the debate, in spite of the small inconvenience that, on the day, he will be based at a studio in Shanghai! Steve’s installation on the site will be accessible to Brockholes visitors, on the day itself and right through to Easter weekend.

Art of Destination takes place on Thursday 29 March and will be introduced by County Councillor Kevin Ellard, Chair of Lancashire County Council Arts Task Group. The day is aimed at arts specialists and enthusiasts, as well as professionals in environment, regeneration and public realm, education and public policy.

For more information visit

Tickets are available through eventbrite

New York, New York!

MPA’s Melanie tells us about her Art of Destination.

Many of us have enjoyed visiting greenways, those havens for walkers, cyclists and riders created from abandon railway tracks, but how about a greenway in the sky?  That is the basic premise of the High Line in New York, a 1.45 mile long public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.  Founded in 1999 it is owned by the City and maintained and operated by a Friends group and I’ve been itching to visit it ever since I first read about it.  As well as the plant life, which is reminiscent of the self-seeded landscape and wild plantings that once grew on the unused High Line, long narrow ‘planks’  form a smooth virtually seamless walking surface.   There are special features, including viewing platforms, a water feature, a sundeck and gathering areas to be used for performances, art exhibitions and educational programmes.  My particular desire is to view some of the innovative public art programme.  Just imagine being high above the streets of Manhattan, with views over the Hudson and the city skyline, walking in a beautiful natural environment created out of something so industrial and then coming across a piece of cutting edge contemporary art.  I can’t wait to visit New York to experience this for myself and I’m saving like mad to do it before the end of June so that I can experience Sarah Sze’s intricate installation Still Life with Landscape (Model for a Habitat). 

What is your Art of Destination?

Call for Papers

Mid Pennine Arts
Lancashire, UK
March 2012

Mid Pennine Arts are currently looking for case studies to feature in a celebratory event we are planning to mark the conclusion of the REMADE regeneration programme.

This will be a conference event in which we aim to bring together delegates from the arts sector and those who work in public realm, landscape, education and policy contexts. The aim is to share the success of the Remade programme but also to contextualise it with inspiring case studies from across the UK and beyond. In particular we want to attract speakers to talk about projects around the themes of:

  • connecting people with landscape
  • imaginative and creative new use of landscape
  • re-use of derelict land

The event will take place on Thursday 29th March 2012 at Brockholes Nature Reserve.

Those wishing to present papers are encouraged to forward a 300-500 word abstract to Lucy Green

Deadline for abstracts:  30 January 2012