Kielder Water and Forest Park director Elisabeth Rowark
AN AMBITIOUS art and architecture programme in the North East will survive and prosper thanks to a £100,000 grant.
Arts Council England has come up with the lottery funding for the award-winning Kielder Art & Architecture project in Northumberland.
And visitors will be key in the creation of new works by resident artists, with the 330,000 people a year who go to Kielder invited to put forward their ideas.
Under the extended programme – called Seeing The Woods From the Trees – Kielder Water & Forest Park (KW&FP) will develop four new commissions plus a series of master classes and workshops.
Park curator Peter Sharpe said: “Thanks to Arts Council England we can embark on an exciting new 15-month programme.
“It will focus on commissioning critically engaged work where the audience becomes central to the making process and is encouraged to ‘get under the skin’ of how artists think, work and imagine.
“Where the audience once watched, they will now participate.
“We will provide more and better ways for our rural audiences to be inspired by the arts and enable more people to enjoy art in the context of Kielder’s stunning environment.”
The exact nature of the commissions will be decided when ideas from the public are discussed by four selected artists.
Kielder, a leading tourist destination, has a long history of sculptural and architectural projects.
It boasts the largest open-air art gallery in the country, housing 20 pieces of public art and architecture.
They include the RIBA award-winning Kielder Observatory as well as James Turrell’s Skyspace and Silvas Capitalis, the giant forest head.
Elisabeth Rowark, KW&FP director, said: “We are delighted to have secured this vital funding that will allow the art and architecture programme at Kielder not only to continue, but to transform and thrive. The unique environment has been a key creative theme in the past and will continue to offer limitless creative possibilities for both artist and audience response.”
Arts Council England regional director Alison Clark-Jenkins said: “The Kielder Art & Architecture programme is a wonderful extension of Kielder Water & Forest Park. Through our open-access funding programme, Grants for the Arts, we are proud to be supporting a project that doesn’t just show people great art, but also allows people to be truly involved in the making of art.”