1. Flicker is a new installation by renowned British artist Catherine Bertola at historic Gawthorpe Hall in Padiham, Lancashire. Flicker was commissioned by Mid Pennine Arts and Lancashire County Council's Museum Service as part of Contemporary Heritage. Flicker was inspired by the artist's first visit to the Hall, when she discovered a family photograph album from the early 20th Century. Catherine was struck by the difference between the rooms as they currently appear and the photographic images. From this the idea developed to try and recreate a sense of how the spaces in the Hall may have looked at different moments in time.

    “I am fascinated by how photography captures and preserves fleeting moments of time, allowing us a glimpse into the past from the present. The images in the albums provided a different view of the rooms I had walked through, illustrating how they were once inhabited, filled with the clutter of everyday life as opposed to the stripped back and orderly manner in which the rooms are now presented.

    I am interested in how the space can be seen from different perspectives, through the eyes of different people who have occupied the space over the course of its history.”

    Camera obscura devices are located in the Great Hall (or Dining Room), the Drawing Room and the Long Gallery. Each lens captures an image of the interior space in which it stands. Into these static images, scenes from the past flicker into view, allowing glimpses of events and people who have occupied the building over the course of its existence - from meetings during the Civil War period, to Victorian dinner parties and children playing in the 1950s.

    Flicker opened on 23 March and runs until 3 November 2013. Find out more on Mid Pennine Arts' website: midpenninearts.org.uk/gawthorpe-hall
    Film make: Ben Wigley

    # vimeo.com/63661811 Uploaded 577 Plays 0 Comments
  2. Mid Pennine Arts and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council commissioned renowned artist collective, Owl Project, to create a site specific installation for Turton Tower as part of the Contemporary Heritage programme. For this commission, called K-Scope, Owl Project have created two elements that link the Tower and the garden: inside is a wooden analogue computer that weaves light, and outside three fantastic listening horns exhibited in the Tower’s gardens.

    “We became fascinated by the notion that James Kay had developed a series of tunnels and maybe a workshop underneath the Tower. This is not as fanciful as it might sound – if the loom riots forced contemporary inventors to hide their machines throughout their houses, then so might Kay. What is in this catacomb, we wondered?”

    In the garden the Owl Project’s speaker horns invite you to listen in, and imagine what unseen activity might be going on underground from the sounds that you hear…. Inside the Tower, inspired by James Kay’s inventions, Owl Project drew an analogy with current technological developments; the path from weaving and early machine programming to modern computers, fibre optic communication, and even optical computing. Owl Project in effect connect these two different eras by replacing flax with light as a raw material in the K-Scope, an imagined early form of analogue computer that you will find in the Tower’s Library. Good at modeling real world events, analogue computers started appearing around the same time as James Kay lived at Turton. The first ones were used to predict tidal flow, working in a continuous manner rather than the discrete snapshops that current digital computers use. In terms of Owl Project practice, this new machine weaves sound from light in a similar way that their 2012 Cultural Olympiad work ~Flow, based on a floating water mill, ‘milled’ data into sound instead of grain into flour.

    Turton Tower is open to the public March–October every year, and this new commission launched on 16 March 2013. The Tower is a beautiful Grade 1 listed building located in the dramatic setting of the West Pennine Moors between Blackburn and Bolton. Turton has evolved over five centuries, from a defensive tower to a family home. It is now a unique and atmospheric visitor destination, housing a wonderful collection of period furniture and paintings.

    Read more on Mid Pennine Arts' website: midpenninearts.org.uk/turton-tower
    The film maker is Ben Wigley

    # vimeo.com/63658474 Uploaded 422 Plays 0 Comments
  3. No Match forms part of the Mid Pennine Arts installation programme Contemporary Heritage, an ambitious partnership programme of contemporary art commissions inspired by Lancashire’s heritage. The installation at Helmshore Mills Textile Museum is the latest commission in the series, which is taking place at historic sites across Lancashire.

    No Match, created by international sculptor Claire Morgan, is a site specific installation inspired by Helmshore Mills and Claire’s discoveries during her research residency there in October 2011. Claire spent time meeting ex-mill workers, reading accounts of their experiences and listening to recordings and found the mill workers held fond memories of the mill despite the daily hazards they had faced.

    The installation is suspended in the Devil Hole, where danger arose from mans’ attempt to harness natures power, through intense heat, noise, pressure, smoke, fire and frequently blood. Claire is fascinated by our relationship with nature, the passing of time and the transience of everything around us. There is a sense of fragility that carries through all her sculptures. “I feel as if they are somewhere between movement and stillness, and thus in possession of a certain energy.”

    No Match acknowledges the connection between man and machine, mill and environment, and the fragility of man, woman and child as they struggled to control nature.

    "My idea for No Match came from my fascination with all the complex, repetitive, and really quite aggressive processes that occurred in the Devil Hole. I wanted to make something that traced the passage of nature through that dark, industrial space, and for me that could mean anything from the cotton, to workers, to fire, or even blood. The finished installation will hopefully acknowledge these things in an abstract but engaging way.” Claire Morgan

    Visit Mid Pennine Arts website for more information: midpenninearts.org.uk/helmshore-mills-textile-museum1

    Documentary by Benjamin Wigley
    artdocs.org benjaminwigley.co.uk

    # vimeo.com/41358556 Uploaded 562 Plays 0 Comments
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  5. This video explains the background of the wonderful sound installation TAKEN in the Keep at Clitheroe Castle Museum. Includes interviews with the artist, Ailis Ni Riain, and some of the local participants.

    # vimeo.com/26364207 Uploaded 180 Plays 0 Comments

Contemporary Heritage

Mid Pennine Arts Plus

Contemporary Heritage: A new way of seeing is an ambitious programme of site-responsive artist commissions at stunning historic sites across Pennine Lancashire. The commissions, inspired by Pennine Lancashire’s heritage, animate each site and offer visitors…


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Contemporary Heritage: A new way of seeing is an ambitious programme of site-responsive 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, a Mid Pennine Arts partnership programme, makes a significant contribution to raising the profile of Lancashire as a distinctive cultural destination.

Mid Pennine Arts are developed the programme with Lancashire Museum Service and partner venues: Towneley Hall and Park, Clitheroe Castle Museum, Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, Gawthorpe Hall and Turton Tower.

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