Category Archives: TAKEN

Places to visit this Easter

With the weather so variable, we thought we would share a variety of ideas for things to see and do this Easter.

Helmshore Mills Textile Museum

Helmshore Mills Textile Museum.  Here you can soak up the atmosphere of the historic mills and witness original machinery at work as well as having fun and learning in an exceptional environment.  The museum offers activities, events and special exhibitions, one of which is part of our Contemporary Heritage programme.   The spectacular No Match, created by international sculptor Claire Morgan, is a site specific installation inspired by Claire’s discoveries during her research residency in October 2011.   See the museum’s website for details of opening times and entrance fees.  Not to be missed!

Clitheroe

Clitheroe is a great day out at any time.  Not only does it offer a large variety of unique and boutique shops there is also a fantastic selection of cafés, bars and restaurants to enjoy.  There are many walks that begin in Clitheroe which you can find out more about here.    Clitheroe Castle Keep is currently host to TAKEN, another of our Contemporary Heritage commissions.  This sound installation by contemporary classical composer Ailís Ní Ríain is inspired by the story of the Lancashire witches.  TAKEN allows the visitor to imagine how the 12 individuals may have felt during their last four months in captivity whilst awaiting trial.

Greenways in Padiham and Preston

The Preston Greenway was constructed along the formerly disused railway line that formed part of the Bamber Bridge to Preston extension of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.  The greenway links Penwortham, Bamber Bridge and Preston city centre and forms part of the National Cycle Network.

The Padiham Greenway was created on a disused railway line that runs between Rosegrove in Burnley and Padiham.  The Padiham Greenway has been developed as part of a longer route between Great Harwood and Burnley which is designed to create an off-road trail that connects people to facilities and open spaces in and around the towns that flank the route.

Panopticons

Have you visited the Panopticons yet?  These iconic, contemporary landmarks were designed to attract visitors into the countryside to discover the stunning landscapes that Pennine Lancashire has to offer.  There are four Panopticons each situated on a high-point site commanding spectacular views.  For more information click here.

You can also download various maps and guides for walking around the Panopticons and other areas of interest here.

Have fun whatever you do!

 

Popular Sound Installation Extended throughout Anniversary Celebrations.

We are delighted to announce that we have been invited by Lancashire County Council to extend TAKEN, the sound installation in Clitheroe Castle Keep by contemporary classical composer Ailís Ni RíainOriginally the installation was due to close on the 9 April 2012, but TAKEN can now be experienced until the 3 June 2012.

TAKEN, inspired by the plight of the individuals accused of witchcraft in 1612, evokes the voices in the last days and nights of the twelve accused.  Held captive in a dark, dank, cramped airless cell that measured just 20 by 12 feet, one of the accused died awaiting trial while others began to suffer psychologically in the appalling conditions.  We can only begin to imagine the absolute terror, fear and sadness experienced.  And maybe for some, the final defiance and peace found through good memories and hope for the next life.  The effect inside the space is unrelenting, your imagination not letting you escape the voices of the accused. Some visitors have described it as unsettling, haunting and eerie.

The second experience of TAKEN is from the outside, where you can walk around the Keep on an elevated walkway and at ground level.  This was a deliberate decision on Ailís’s part.  “I was not content with the music simply wafting out and being carried off by the wind so we ensured that speakers were cunningly concealed around the Keep to ensure that the music carries. The visitor has the experience of being a voyeur, aware of people being held captive in the Keep, hearing them humming, however now at a comfortable distance, as the music is mixed with the sounds of the everyday world continuing to spin, spin, spin and they can walk away from the wrongly accused…”

To create her sound installation, Ailís worked with 12 local people.  The ‘hummers’ spent their time together with Ailís, understanding her work as a composer and how she creates her music.  Each person hummed a song that had a personal poignancy to them which became part of the installation.

Ailís said, “I am very pleased that TAKEN at Clitheroe Castle has been extended to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the trial of the Lancashire Witches.  It provides us with the ideal opportunity to take some time and remember those whose lives were taken from them based on inference, inaccuracies, and misinformation and perhaps for simply being different.  The incarceration, trial and hanging of the Lancashire Witches was a travesty, one which has many contemporary resonances. It is important to remember in order not to forget.”

With the 400th Anniversary of the Lancashire Witches upon us, this is the perfect opportunity to experience this thought provoking installation.  TAKEN will continue to run until the 3 June 2012. Immerse yourself in sound and thought as the Keep is brought to life through music.  Free entry to the keep.

TAKEN was commissioned by Mid Pennine Arts in collaboration with Lancashire County Council.

TAKEN is part of A Contemporary Heritage: new way of seeing, Mid Pennine Arts’ ambitious partnership programme of contemporary art commissions at some of Lancashire’s most colourful and intriguing historic venues.  The commissions, inspired by Lancashire’s heritage, animate each site and offer visitors a rare chance to experience major works of art by artists of national and international standing outside urban areas.

My Top Ten Days Out in the North West

With the New Year upon us, I thought it would be good to start with the top ten places I would like to visit this year.  Having only managed to visit one of these last year, I am determined to tick these of my list in 2012. Ranging in prices, location and experience, this list provides a selection of outings to suit all tastes and budgets. A few do have end dates so make sure you visit those first! All these suggestions are suitable for adults and children alike.

1. Clitheroe

Clitheroe is great day out not only does it offer a large variety of unique and boutique shops there is also a fantastic selection of cafés, bars and restaurants to enjoy that well earned afternoon tea! There are many walks that begin in Clitheroe which you can find out more about here.

You will also find in Clitheroe, the Platform Gallery which provides a unique market place for handmade crafts from across the UK.  You can visit the craft exhibitions, buy stunning gifts in the Craft Shop or take part in workshops and educational opportunities.  For further information and opening times visit the website here.

Clitheroe Castle Keep is also host to TAKEN, a sound installation by contemporary classical composer Ailís Ní Ríain. Inspired by the story of the Lancashire witches, TAKEN allows the visitor to imagine how the 12 individuals may have felt during their last four months in captivity whilst awaiting trial. December is an excellent time to visit with the cold, windy, icy weather adding to the experience.  Find out more about TAKEN here and on our blog.

2. Panopticons

Have you visited the Panopticons yet? Designed to attract visitors into the countryside to enjoy the stunning landscapes that this delightful area has to offer. There are four Panopticons altogether each situated on a high-point site commanding spectacular views.

Colourfields, in Blackburn’s Corporation Park, allows you to enjoy a panoramic view of the park below, with the town beyond and distant views out towards Lytham, Southport and Fleetwood.

Singing Ringing Tree is situated on Crown Point above Burnley, look north for a superb view of Pendle Hill or east for a glimpse of the Cliviger wind turbines on the Yorkshire border.

Atom, nestles on the hillside high above Wycoller village, there are breathtaking views of the Pendle landscape all around, including the historic settlement of Wycoller, now a conservation area.

Halo is the centrepiece of a former landfill site on Top o’ Slate above Haslingden. You can enjoy commanding views of the Rossendale Valley, Greater Manchester and into Hyndburn, Burnley and Ribble Valley.

For more information, visit http://www.visitlancashire.com/panopticons/. You can also download various maps and guides for walking around the Panopticons and other areas of interest here

3. The Greenway – Padiham & Preston

The Greenways are perfect for an afternoon walk or cycle with the family; constructed along disused railway lines they provide a safe, beautiful and alternative way to discover the countryside.

The Preston Greenway was constructed along the formally disused railway line that formed part of the Bamber Bridge to Preston extension of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. The greenway links Penwortham, Bamber Bridge and Preston City Centre and forms part of the National Cycle Network.

The Padiham Greenway was created on a disused railway line that runs between Rosegrove and Padiham in Burnley. The Padiham Greenway has been developed as part of a longer route between Great Harwood and Burnley which is designed to create an off-road trail that connects people to facilities and open spaces in and around the towns that flank the route.

4. Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk via Burscough.

The Chapel Gallery is situated in the lively town of Ormskirk. Their diverse programme brings some of the most inventive contemporary fine art and craft from across the UK to the region, while also supporting locally based artists in the development of their careers. There are plenty of activities to keep young minds absorbed and with an on site Café and Contemporary Craft Shop, the gallery is the perfect place to visit on a day out. Ormskirk itself offers a variety of shops and cafés and an afternoon can be easily spent wandering around the town.

On route to Ormskirk why not stop off in Burscough and visit Gallery on the Wharf, the new permanent home for the Art and Craft Guild of Lancashire. As 2011 marks the silver anniversary of the Guild, the gallery opening in February makes it an exciting year for everyone. There is a wide variety of work on offer including ceramics, furniture, textiles, jewellery, glass, art, photography and turned wood from original designs all displayed in the unique setting of Burscough Wharf. Visit the website for more information.

 5. Brockholes

Brockholes is a new kind of nature reserve, an unreserved reserve owned and managed by The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside. There’s lots to see and do at Brockholes, you can hunt out the floating Visitor Village which houses a restaurant, shops and Welcome Centre or explore the family-friendly hides, walking trails and play area.  A fantastic free day out accessible by car and public transport. Visit the website for more information.

6. TATE Liverpool

See the Alice in Wonderland exhibition at Tate Liverpool till 29th January. The first exhibition of its kind to explore how Lewis Carroll’s stories have influenced the visual arts, inspiring generations of artists. The exhibition will provide insight into the creation of the novels and the inspiration they have provided for artists through the decades. Alice in Wonderland  offers  visitors a rare opportunity to view Carroll’s own drawings and photographs, alongside Victorian Alice memorabilia and John Tenniel’s preliminary drawings for the first edition of the novel.

7. Museum of Lancashire

Find out the history of Preston’s Guild in 2012 with a visit to the recently refurbished Museum of Lancashire. They have a lot to offer and admission is completely free! Whether your interests lie in Preston or the wider heritage of Lancashire, the Museum of Lancashire gives you a great introduction to all things Lancashire. With displays, interactives and activities aimed at different ages, there really will be something for all of the family to enjoy. Why not top off your visit with a relaxing coffee and cake in our Gateway café.

8. Cedar Farm

Cedar Farm nestling in beautiful countryside is surprisingly situated just 15 minutes from junction 27 of the M6. Providing an inspirational and creative shopping experience, the wonderful array of unique shops, selling contemporary crafts, clothing, home furnishings and mystic gifts is complemented by a group of creative working artists; here visitors have an opportunity to purchase artwork made by some of the most talented people in the region.

The cafe@cedarfarm, serves delicious freshly prepared food and the Coffee Roastery are both award winning places to eat and drink.

With regular exhibitions, free parking, a children’s playground and farm animals to feed, it’s a perfect place to spend an hour or two. Although, if you want to spend longer, you can book onto one of the courses or have a pamper day at the beauty salon.

With opportunities to feed the variety of animals and drop in to Pots of Fun to paint a pot, in between coffee and cake and wander round the unique shops, Cedar Farm makes a great afternoon out for the family or adults alike.

 9. Valley of Stone.

The Valley of Stone is a project which celebrates the quarrying and stone working heritage of Rossendale.  From the late 18th century to the time of the First World War quarrying was a major industry in Rossendale, employing thousands of men. The Valley of Stone project tells the story of this great industry, conserves remains, provides a programme of guided walks featuring Rossendale’s stone working heritage and celebrates this heritage through a number of arts-based activities. You can read more about Mid Pennine Arts’ involvement and the sculptures we commissioned in Lee Quarry here.

Why not visit these sculptures and take the family and your bikes along for an active, cultural and historical day out all rolled into one!

10. BFG at the Dukes.

One of Roald Dahl’s most popular children’s stories, The BFG which follows the adventures of Sophie a little girl with a big heart and she’s going on a whizzpoppingly wonderful adventure this Christmas, as she meets the Big Friendly Giant and sets off on an unbelievable journey.  From her sleepy orphanage, to magical Dream Country and beyond, join Sophie in this brand new production promising excitement, just a touch of danger and larger than life characters. In a faithful adaptation of the classic story, The Dukes brings this heartwarming tale of friendship and bravery to the stage with amazing puppetry, masses of fun and plenty of surprises along the way.

Visit the Official Roald Dahl Website, which is packed with information and games as well as up to date news from the World of Roald Dahl.

The BFG is on till 7th January. Why not make a day out of it and visit Lancaster home to the Storey Gallery and Gallery23

One of my many New Year resolutions is to organise more days out and actually do them – something I have been guilty of these last few years!

Please let us know if you visit any of the above and what you thought by leaving your comments below.

ENJOY!

Author: Rebecca Fitton

I love this job

I love this job

A chill November afternoon; rain in the air.  Every time the door opened you could feel the damp breath of autumn in the wind.

I had just had afternoon tea with eleven ladies from a Lancashire Libraries’ Reading group from Whalley. We were about to visit the Contemporary Heritage installation ‘Taken’ by Ailis Ni Riain in the Castle Keep.  It is inspired by the true story of the Lancashire Witches. But before we could move there were some challenging questions: “Who is paying for this? Where does the money come from? Lancashire’s logo is on the flyer – does this mean we that we are paying ? Is it a sensible use of money in these difficult times? The great thing about the discussion which followed was that I was not expected to answer all the questions – they just set everyone off.  When you belong to a reading group, I realised, you are used to challenge, the challenge of other opinions being different from your own.

Onwards and upwards…to the Keep.

All we did was to lean with our backs against the castle walls, in silence at first; listening….listening to the layers of voices in the wind, to the humming, to the chords from the harp…the perfect instrument, an inspirational choice for the mood of the piece and for this setting.

..and what did they say when the silence was broken?  There was no more     talk about funding…

“…I could feel their voices in the stone…you can see them sitting on a cold    floor, rocking back and forwards with their heads in their hands  murmuring,   humming…it should stay here as a part of the experience of visiting the Castle; it really takes you back in time…I can still hear their voices now we’ve come back…those poor women…there was a real feeling of despair up there…yes, of hopelessness, disturbing…I think there are places where these  things are still happening….”

I don’t have say more only that it a privilege to share this experience with  this group of ladies….and of course the afternoon tea!

I love this job.

Author: David Smith

TAKEN is open daily 10am-5pm and can be visited till early Summer at Clitheroe Castle Museum, Clitheroe BB7 1BA.

Free admission to the installation in the Castle Keep

Have you seen TAKEN already?What are your thoughts?

Ailís and the hummers….

Contemporary classical composer Ailís Ní Ríain talks about her recent experience with the ‘hummers’ at Clitheroe Castle…

Ailis in front of the Castle Keep

Early on Friday morning the 8th of April 2011 I set off by train from my home in Todmorden to Clitheroe for Humming Day as part of my new commission at Clitheroe Castle. It was a glorious morning, I passed an opening daffodil on my way that wished me luck for the day ahead.

Beautiful day to be up at the Castle!

By 10am all twelve ‘hummers’ had arrived – 10 women and 2 men representing ‘The Pendle Witches’- those accused of witchcraft in 1612. This lively and enthusiastic bunch appeared ready for action! I asked each ‘hummer’ to hum me a song/tune which meant something special to them. I sat with each ‘hummer’ one to one for about 25 mins where I recorded them and discussed their choice of melody, why they had chosen it, what it meant to them and then broadening out to discuss how they felt humming differed from singing both physically and emotionally and then finally, touching on this new piece and the final weeks of those 12 accused awaiting their fate in a 20 foot by 12 foot Well Tower at Lancaster Castle.

Ailis and the hummers having their photo taken for the press

I was surprised and moved by their musical choices, some were quite jaunty, others very relaxed, some classical in origin, some improvised, some folk tunes, some pop including some that were quite a challenge to hum. It was a fascinating day. I very much enjoyed meeting each hummer one to one, in a calm, quiet space in the shadow of Clitheroe Castle Keep, sharing my thoughts and asking them for theirs. I appreciated their honesty, their humour and their tears.

Ailis composing

The commission is called TAKEN and will launch on Saturday 18th June 1-4pm (all welcome!)

www.midpenninearts.org.uk/contemporary-heritage-clitheroe

A new Contemporary Heritage commission at Clitheroe Castle Museum.

Mid Pennine Arts announce new Contemporary Heritage commission at Clitheroe Castle Museum.

Contemporary Heritage: A new way of seeing

“This is a composer who can get right under the skin.” Journal of Music in Ireland.

MID Pennine Arts have this week announced that the second Contemporary Heritage commission – that will be at Clitheroe Castle Museum – has been awarded to international prize-winning contemporary composer Ailís Ní Ríain.

Born in Cork, Ireland, Ailís captured the public’s imagination in 2009 with ‘Lighthouse Lullaby’, in Maryport, Cumbria. Ailís made the lighthouse sing. Her composition incorporated the sounds and rhythms of the lighthouse’s position at the harbour entrance. The piece interacted with the natural sounds and acoustics of the cast iron building to create an ever-changing improvised performance.

At Clitheroe Castle Museum, Ailís will create a sound installation in and around the Castle Keep. Her composition is inspired by the story of the Lancashire Witches and the 400th anniversary of the Witch trials in 2012. Ailís will be working with 10 women and 2 men aged 18 to 80+ who live or work in Clitheroe. The ‘hummers’ will spend time together with Ailís, understanding her work as a composer and how she creates her music. Each person will hum a song which has a personal poignancy to them which will become part of the installation.

Ailís said, “Clitheroe Castle Museum and grounds are fascinating. The Keep itself is particularly inspiring and I found the panel on the Lancashire Witch Trials in the Museum curious and indeed shocking. The Keep is incredible and has terrific scope for engagement with the public which is something I focus strongly on throughout my artistic work. “

Contemporary Heritage is an ambitious programme of artist commissions at stunning historic sites across Pennine Lancashire. The commissions, inspired by Pennine Lancashire’s heritage, animate each site and offer visitors a rare chance to experience major works of art by artists of national and international standing outside urban centres.

Contemporary Heritage brings an extra dimension to our partners’ venues, creating a new way of seeing the history and heritage of these sites. Mid Pennine Arts will deliver a programme of creative learning activities associated with each commission to further surprise, inspire and delight participants. Contemporary Heritage provides a terrific counterpoint to some of our heritage treasures, and attracts a new audience to explore the splendours of Lancashire.

Burnley’s Towneley Hall and Park is home to Not Forgotten, the first Contemporary Heritage installation by nationally acclaimed artist Geraldine Pilgrim.

Nick Hunt, Mid Pennine Arts Creative Director, said: “Contemporary Heritage is an ambitious programme of new art that makes dramatic use of some of our outstanding heritage locations. We are delighted to be working with Clitheroe Castle Museum and thrilled that Ailís has accepted the commission. Her installation will bring contemporary art, local people and a unique place together. It will give visitors a very new experience of this wonderful Lancashire landmark.”

—ENDS—

Notes to Editors

If you require further information, images or would like to interview Ailís Ní Ríain or Rebecca Alexander, Visual Arts Programme Manager from Mid Pennine Arts – please call Julian Jordan from BrandSpankin’ on 01282 878 301 or email julian@brandspankin.co.uk. Further Contemporary Heritage installations are planned at Gawthorpe Hall, Helmshore Mills Textile Museum and Turton Tower.

About Mid Pennine Arts

We are a driving force for the arts, recognised nationally and internationally for devising and delivering integrated programmes that inspire, surprise and delight. We work in some of the most deprived communities in the UK yet have a longstanding track record of powerful, high quality work, demonstrating profound social and economic impacts. Our portfolio includes prize-winning public art for breathtaking landscape settings. Commissions of bold, contemporary work combine dynamically with exemplary programmes of creative learning and creative community engagement. Strong relationships with extensive networks of local partners have been consolidated over decades.

Our mission: we bring art, people and places together to transform perceptions and change lives.

Mid Pennine Arts Charity registration number 250642