[I]t’s not often an art exhibition comes with a health warning but visitors to a display inspired by Storm Desmond that opens in Carlisle next week (Nov 20 – Dec 1) are being encouraged to come prepared.
Earlier this year the University of Cumbria Institute of the Arts, in partnership with Carlisle City Council, launched Immersion/Emergence, a new artist residency project at The Old Fire Station.
Supported by Arts Council England the project invited artists to take up residence in the city and develop new work in response to the damaging floods.
Now the work resulting from the project is about to go on show, two years after the storm brought havoc to Cumbria.
Carlisle-based artist Laura Harrison’s installation, Suspension focuses on dark spaces and the track water takes from the hills to the sea.
“It’s taken six months and I hope it reflects the spirit that really lifted the city in the weeks and months after the storm,” Laura said. “People really rallied together and I’ll be interested to see what they make of my installation.”
The display is appearing in a satellite, unheated outbuilding of The Old Fire Station in a move which may well heighten the experience for visitors.
While Laura’s installation is based on sight, fellow artist John Dummett uses text and readings for his work, Sounding.
Drawing on sources including Daniel Defoe’s The Storm, Journeys to England and Ireland by Alexis De Tocqueville and the Met Office account of Storm Desmond, John’s performance will doubtless captivate anyone who has experienced nature’s fury.
“I was delighted that the response to the initial offer of a residency drew interest from all over the UK,” Roddy Hunter, director of the Institute of the Arts at the University of Cumbria. ”I think both Laura and John have produced exceptional work. These kinds of installations inspired by recent events demonstrate how art can be used as a medium to capture the thoughts and feelings of a community and reflect it to a wider audience. I’m really excited by the prospect of more projects involving our alumni and current students which will demonstrate that the institute is at the forefront of creating challenging but accessible art.”
For details: http://oldfirestation.carlisle.city/