|Artist Beth Derbyshire opens The Ark|
In November 2012 seven artists embarked on a journey of discovery in the Pennine landscape. Each artist had been chosen for their unique skills and interest in creating work in response to stories and conversations. Each of the seven were given one park across Pennine Lancashire to become resident in for three weeks, between them covering Marsden Park, Corporation Park, Stubbylee Park, Fox Hill Bank, Brun Valley Forest Park, Brungerley Park and Cross Hill Quarry. During that time they had in depth conversations with over 700 people about why they used the parks, their thoughts on the landscape they lived in and their connection to it.
This Monday saw the culmination of the Exploring Landscapes project with the unveiling of The
Created by artist Beth Derbyshire, The Ark responds to the research carried
out by the Exploring Landscapes team and builds upon their findings to produce
a floating interactive sculpture that has the potential to reach thousands. Ark.
Seen from the tow path appears as a wooden house floating on a boat, representing the terraced housing so abundant in Pennine Lancashire. The sides of the house are intricately cut into shapes referencing Islamic textile patterns, the main wall being carved in a paisley pattern.
The roof of is created from a living meadow and ecosystem, a symbol of the flower rich grasslands of the region's disused quarries. This enchanting green spectacle will contrast with the factories and mills it passes on its journey down the industrial pathway of the canal. reflects on the historical purpose of the canal as an industrial pathway that transported local materials and linked communities together, leaving a rich social, cultural and historic legacy in the area
Housed inside this structure is a film wall showing five newly commissioned films collectively called The Keepers. The films follow a series of local people who have a special connection to the area, taking us on a journey to explore how their stories inextricably link them to the surrounding landscape.
As the sculpture travels down its ten mile journey on the canal it will moor up in the communities it passes, inviting people to step on board and experience the films first hand. As well as travelling on the canal, structure will also mysteriously appear in Blackburn and Burnley town centres as it passes by, bringing an evocative sense of the landscape directly into these urban town spaces.
To celebrate the completion of The Ark there will be a series of events throughout Pennine Lancashire starting in
Blackburn on Thursday 23rd May and finishing in
Brierfield on Thursday 6th June.
For more information on The Ark visit http://www.thearklancashire.co.uk/