Extreme Views. 1.

This week has been one of new adventures. Following an open call from Art Gene, I have been selected to work with them as artist in residence for the next four months, starting with an introduction to Barrow-in-Furness this week. Read more about the project here

The residency is an invitation to get to know Barrow – a curious landscape of industry, past and present, environment and the social – all woven in-together. The first few days have been mostly spent cycling around, trying to get my bearings and learning about the work so far of Art Gene, an organisation and collaborative artistic venture led by Maddi Nicholson and Stuart Bastik. Also working on a sort of in-tandem residency, is artist Owen Griffiths – welsh based artist with a focus on community food systems and land use.

Extreme Views is an ongoing project at Art Gene, exploring the surprising-to-many fact that Barrow is the number one borough in England for Natural Heritage Assets – what this might mean, exploring the benefits that might be had from linking the communities and landscapes here.

Barrow might not be a particularly old town, but it has a rich history and identity. Armed with Art Gene’s rather amazing maps I hit the roads, pathways, coastal routes, short cuts and long cuts. Ideas start to form. I visit the library, where everyone seems to be enthusiastic and welcoming. There are plenty of interesting or unusual buildings, and everything from en-mass wind farms, nuclear submarines, off-shore gas terminals to their very own Walney Geranium, and hosts of sea birds.

The first visit is a brief one, but filled with a sense of possibility, and surrounded by lots of welcoming folk and interesting places. I’ll be visiting and spending time in Barrow on and off throughout the next few months. If you have a suggestion, or can share some curious insights about the town and the surrounding area, please get in touch.

One For Sorrow, permanent work in the landscape created by Art Gene
One of Barrow’s many disused or closed cinema spaces.

2 thoughts on “Extreme Views. 1.

  1. andy pollock says:

    St James Church is rich in heritage, with 142 year old bells, plaques commemorating Frederick Cavendish murdered in Ireland (Phoenix Park Murders), a stained glass window put in the church to commemorate WWW1 fallen, that was the only stained glass window to survive the parachute land mine that detonated over Exmouth street and flattened a row of terraced housed and severely damaged the church. The church was designed by Paley & Austen, on a scale that could aspire to be a cathedral as the town grew. Also of note is the church organ which comes from the Chapel Royal in St James’ Palace, London. Part of living heritage, the bells cast in 1877 hope to be rung half-muffled by team of ringers (teenage to 50+) for Holocaust Memorial Day on Monday 27th January. Human heritage in that some of the local ringers directly descend from someone murdered in Auschwitz.

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