Forest of Bowland 2014-15

LANDMARKS was a series of four temporary, outdoor visual artworks sited at popular locations around the Forest of Bowland AONB. Inspired by the beauty and character of Bowland, and with an understanding and respect for the area, the pieces aimed to delight and challenge – encouraging audiences to look at the landscape in a new way. The programme also included a chance to meet the LANDMARKS artists to find out all about their work and why they find the Forest of Bowland so captivating.

Originally intended to be in place from September to November 2014 popular demand saw the installations extended, with two in place until January 2015, one to June and the final piece decommissioned in September 2015.

Mid Pennine Arts was delighted to manage the LANDMARKS commissions for the partnership, and to work with the artists Geraldine Pilgrim, Halima Cassell, Philippe Handford and Salina Somalya .

Four popular destinations around Bowland each hosted an artwork:

Halima Cassell, Sun Catcher

Jeffrey Hill (Longridge Fell)

A cluster of sculpted elements around a central feature, carved from a mighty tree trunk, and redefining a panoramic viewpoint looking out to distant fells.

“This is a beauty spot that I show off to visitors from around the globe. It is an important destination for me, a very clear and wide panorama of beautiful Bowland.”

Halima Cassell is a sculptor with an international reputation. She has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, and features in a number of public collections. Her work combines strong geometric elements with recurrent patterns and architectural principles.

Philippe Handford, Out-Take

Langden Intake (Trough of Bowland road, near Dunsop Bridge)

A structure of freshly cut waney-edge boards with coloured perspex inserts creating a new way of experiencing this lovely location.

“I was struck by the tall trees that formed a natural clearing. I realised that they formed a horseshoe arrangement, providing a natural stage to create a fitting installation.”

Phillipe Handford has embraced a wide creative spectrum from product designer to sculptor and environmental artist. He has recently enjoyed international success with commissions in Moscow and Paris. “Often these wild locations offer challenges of material; weather and natural elements that help inspire unique site-specific structures.”

Geraldine Pilgrim, Beauty

Beacon Fell Country Park

A trail of beautifully inscribed stone setts leads to a place of contemplation, deep in the midst of Starling Wood.

“Tall dark trees encased in mist, intercut with ribbons of light and a soft carpet of dark earth… I want to enhance this landscape not compete with its natural magic, to encourage visitors to view it in a new light.”

Geraldine Pilgrim works across theatre and the visual arts, known for her evocative installations and performances which create a contemporary dialogue with historic houses, buildings and landscapes. She responds to a site for inspiration, to reveal the memories and atmospheres built up over the years. This highly acclaimed artist has been commissioned by organisations including Royal Pavilion Brighton, English Heritage, Girl Guiding UK and the National Trust.

Salina Somalya, Celeste

Gisburn Forest Hub

A sculptural work created from layers of contrasting materials, carefully sited at a forest viewpoint to capture and experience the view through the trees to the waters and beyond.

“I was captivated by the sense of being able to shrug off everyday life and set off into the wilderness giving me a feeling of freedom and adventure. The perfect setting to challenge my creativity and produce new work to celebrate this anniversary.”

Salina Somalya is a national artist, working predominantly in metal, who has created artworks for interior and, recently, exterior environments. “All my artworks are individual and predominantly inspired by nature, natural forms and architecture.”

Part of the Bowland Revealed programme, a partnership project between Lancashire County Council Arts Development, the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Ribble Valley Borough Council which ran from August 2014 until April 2016.