Grizedale Arts


Calum Stirling

Calum produced Local – a T-shirt that highlights the plight of the artists as itinerant arts worker, surrounding himself in the strange world of Grizedale and the Lake District in a bid to become local, in a place where everybody’s a newcomer.

He also produced Hyperglade - a temporary site-specific artwork incorporating 10 pine fresh, household air fresheners installed on 10 Larch pole pines. The work focused on the sensory challenge of distinguishing the real from the artificially synthesised. He also staged a short sonic performance incorporating bio acoustic monitoring recordings, utilising the electrical properties of two plants and vinyl recordings from Ken Dodd's album Ken Dodd Now. The artwork referred to a previous performance by Mr. Dodd at the Theatre in the woods and the alleged lost tape of that evening. The video of this performance, SSvLP, was shown at the Grizedale Show in 2000. Calum also produced ‘Logo Wall’ on a wall on one of the most popular walks in the forest – a stone wall on which he painted logos from local and global companies. He proposed re-christening an area within the forest, previously known as Moor Top, Bobby Moore Top.

Samantha Clark

Samantha was interested in legend, mythology, expectations of the countryside, mass-tourism and how certain aspects of the landscape and environment appeared frozen in time and caricatured

In response to produced a series of miniature fairies, which she placed within the forest and photographed them in a variety of scenarios. These photographs were produced as postcards and the series was titles Unconfirmed Sightings 1-6, including Hatching, Meeting, Landing, Breeding Site, Feeding and Swarming, which are all still available to order from the Grizedale Arts office.

Samantha also produced a number of Weeping Sap photographs, which show clichéd picture-postcard images frozen in droplets of sap weeping from local trees. Samantha’s birdboxes, which housed tiny tableaux and miniature landscapes, and were strapped to trees throughout the forest, proved to be so popular with visitors they all disappeared!

Marcus Coates

Marcus documented attempts to submerge and lose himself in nature, to become the ‘other’. His work is embedded in a dialogue with ornithology, zoology, anthropology and philosophy – the studies of animal and human. At Grizedale Marcus explored his subjects by doing and imitating, by immersing himself in other modes of being and literally inhabiting their skin. In Sparrowhawk Bait he ran through the forest with dead birds attached to his hair. Tin the video Stoat he tries to gallop in a pair of stilts that mimic the footprints and stride of a stoat in the photograph ‘Self Portrait as a Goshawk’ he placed himself 40 feet up a Scotts pine, amongst the birds.

In the videos Dawn Chorus and Out of Season, Marcus explores the essence of Englishness, with a man verbally staking his territory in the forest through a series of renowned British football (hooligan) chants like ‘come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough’ and ‘I’m the Daddy now’. The sublime beauty of the forest and its birdsong are contrasted with the ugly sentiments and gestures of a football fan – like the football chants, the birdsong is aggressive, territorial and self-defining. The film was produced by Intermedia Film and Video for Channel Four.

Marcus’ billboard image Wild Animal at its Den illustrates Marcus himself naked, crouching and adorned in a pair of antlers, sitting next to a duvet shaped as a ‘den’ in a bedroom in the artists residency Summerhill. The work confronts the forest with a seemingly incongruous consumerist medium, appearing to be a face-off between human culture and nature.

David Shuttleworth in Limo Day video by Pope Guthrie Best and Poulter 1999/00

Anna Best

As a series of four New Media opportunities, the artists elected to work together on a series of collaborative projects, including David Shuttleworth (Rally Hopeful) and The Festival of Lying.
David Shuttleworth (Rally Hopeful) is a Grizedale forester and aspiring rally driver, with whom the collaborated over a 9 month period whilst in residence at Grizedale. They raised his profile locally and with national sponsors, creating promotional material (e.g. the website and a billboard poster) and working with him to increase his competitiveness.

The project is represented by the archive website, a documentary video and related artefacts which were first exhibited at the Grizedale Show in September 2000.

On Saturday 16 September 2000 the artists launched the Festival Of Lying at Grizedale Theatre. In collaboration with four recent winners from the World's Biggest Liar Competition they investigated the unique mix of truth and received wisdom that constitutes a successful lie. The Festival celebrated and debated lying in all its forms.
During the day there were contributions by leading figures from the media, e-commerce, psychology, crop circles and the paranormal, culminating with a panel discussion chaired by writer Jon Ronson. The entire day was webcast live including the 'Little Liars' contest, a local Elvis tribute, and video screenings.

In the evening Cumbria's top liars John Graham, Howard Christie, James Mason and Cliff Atkinson performed four specially commissioned lies accompanied by projections mixed live by the artists.

Jenny Brownrigg

The publication Nature Centre was the outcome of this writer’s residency. Examining how we perceive nature and landscape, the book looks in particular at the environments of Grizedale and the Lake District. It is placed at a time when new work and ideas in the forest have for some, shattered the illusions of a rural idyll. The publication aims to identify the gaps between peoples’ ideals about nature versus the reality of that nature. Research was informed by the work created by artists’-in-residence during 1999/2000, Grizedale’s own correspondence, a range of guidebooks dating from 1800s to the present day, National Park documents, official wilderness policies and educational work undertaken at six local primary schools. Diverse opinions, language and interpretation are mixed, coming together to form a new document.

Donald Urquart

In the heart of the forest, Donald produced An Enlightened Stand, an installation in the form of a rectangle of white Skye marble chip, (approx. 30’ x 40’), which blankets the floor of the forest & reflects light. The intervention evoked form, emptiness, plenitude and void. Across the rectangle fall imaginary shadows of the six trees that rise from within its bounds, emphasising the interplay of vertical and horizontal. The implied light source refers to Donald’s ideological background as a Scot and to perceptual explorations made by the philosophers of the Scottish enlightenment - a space for contemplation.