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Endurance celebrated on Honister Pass in the Lake District

Terry Hawkins, artist in residence at Honister slate mine unveils his latest sculpture to coincide with National Get Outside Day on 30th September.

Inspired by the enduring appeal of the Honister Pass for cyclists, artist Terry Hawkins has created a statue that celebrates the spirit of determination and energy of the riders who take on the elements and steep gradients to reach the summit of the pass, which was a highlight in the 2013 Tour of Britain Cycle Race.

Located next to the road at Honister Slate Mine and set against the stunning backdrop of Fleetwith Pike and the Northern Fells, the piece ‘Endurance’ depicts the figure of a speed cyclist on a bike. Terry Hawkins the artist in residence at Honister Slate Mine says, “This piece is a celebration of the hardy spirit of the cyclists that regularly undertake this challenging ride. I’ve named it ‘Endurance’ as it speaks to the levels of stamina required to ascend the pass, but it also speaks to the nature of the slate itself and the spirit of the people who have mined here for generations.”

Made from hundreds of individually handcut pieces of the iconic Honister Green Slate it has taken around two months from concept to completion. Terry says, “The wonderful thing is that it’s made entirely out of the offcuts in the workshop that are the result of making roofing slates. Nothing is wasted at Honister, every piece of slate it utilised. The sculpture is designed to withstand the weather conditions of the pass and the aerodynamic position of the speed cyclist was chosen for this reason.”

This artwork by Terry is the latest addition to a selection of outdoor sculptures that visitors can experience around the slate mine, which includes the emotive piece ‘Loss’, created in 2017 for the C-Art Festival, featuring figures standing resolutely on either side of the road that goes down to Buttermere. This section of the pass has featured in many outdoor clothing and car adverts because of its dramatic views.

Jan Wilkinson, Co-Owner Honister says, “We are fortunate to work in a unique location that offers rewarding and invigorating outdoor experiences for everyone from walkers to thrill seeks and cyclists. This sculpture is a celebration of the sheer pleasure of being outside in this landscape. We know that being outdoors is good for health, including reducing stress levels, so whether it’s on two wheels or on foot I’d urge everyone to get outside to feel the benefits.”

The café at Honister serves Borrowdale’s best Bacon Butty, bowls of homemade soup, delicious homemade cakes, great coffee and healthy snacks, making it a brilliant place to refuel for walkers, cyclists or visitors doing the adventure activities and mine tours. The Sky High Café opens from 8:30 till 5pm every day, dogs are also welcomed in the café.

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