Morecambe Bay Partnership’s Landscape Art Commissions

Fri, 2018-08-24 16:20
Headlands to Headspace - Inspired by the Bay’s spectacular natural beauty and unique cultural heritage

Between July 2018 - March 2019, visitors and locals will encounter sculptural installations and performance works, celebrating the unique history of the largest intertidal area in the UK, where four estuaries join to form a landscape of spectacular scale and grandeur.

Morecambe Bay's unending horizons, rich mosaic of habitats, precious nature and ancient heritage have inspired this exciting storytelling, part of a series of significant new artworks to be placed around the Bay as part of Morecambe Bay Partnership's Headlands to Headspace programme.

From Birkrigg Common at the north to Sunderland Point in the south, works include a permanent sculpture from internationally-renowned land artist Chris Drury, a striking evocation of Viking heritage from sculptor Anna Gillespie, a mysterious series of temporary dwellings from British sculptor and environmental artist Rob Mulholland, an immersive dance performance from Jenny Reeves & Ellen Jeffrey and intrepid performance storytelling from Emily Hennessey.

Artist Impression, Settlement

The Bay itself is the unifying feature of the works. Artists have interpreted, imagined and meditated on the vast, shining sands, the ceaseless rhythm of the tides, the narrative of man's work shaping the land and centuries of fishing, seafaring and trade to produce work imbibed with our area’s spectacular natural beauty and fascinating heritage.

We invite you to experience the works and celebrate our amazing landscape with public art commissions, artist talks, hands-on workshops and immersive performances.

Find out more about each artists work below and sign up to our newsletter for information on events.

Horizon Line Chamber, Sculpture - Chris Drury - Spring 2019, 

Sunderland Point 

Artist Impression, Horizon Line Chamber

Internationally-renowned land artist Chris Drury brings Horizon Line Chamber to Sunderland Point. A conical stone chamber remade from hundreds of reclaimed building stones unearthed at the former port settlement of Sunderland Point, Horizon Line Chamber recalls an upturned boat and holds a surprise for visitors who venture inside. A self-contained projector inverts the outside world onto the chamber’s lime-plastered walls, capturing the sea and it’s changing conditions, our rich bird life and the unique light of the Bay in a transformed perspective and meditation on Morecambe Bay’s evolving environment. Find out more here

Settlement - a temporary public artwork by Rob Mulholland

The Barrows, Heysham Coast 
Birkrigg Common 

Artist Impression, Settlement

British sculptor and environmental artist, Rob Mulholland developed a series of mysterious mirrored dwellings & inhabitants which were temporarily installed on The Barrows, Heysham Coast and on Birkrigg Common. Inspired by early Anglo-Saxon designs; the dwellings compel you to consider human settlers’ influence on Morecambe Bay reminding the viewer of the generations working the land and the sea in centuries gone by. Visited by more than 26,000 people in Summer 2018, we hope that Settlement may yet return to the Bay again. 

Longways/Crosswise - Immersive Dance Performance by About Time Dance Company

The Lots, Silverdale September 2018

Longways / Crosswise - The Lots, Silverdale

Over and along, across and around, the sands are shifting and the light is dimming…

Longways/Crosswise was an immersive, site-specific dance performance taking place on the grasslands and coastline of Silverdale, inspired by the romantic painter David Cox’s provocative paintings of the crossings of Lancaster Sands made during the 19th century. A cast of professional dancers and participants from the community imagined the stories and tales of those that once crossed the sands in the last of the light. Commencing an hour before sunset, together the audience and performers witnessed the phenomenal transformation of the Bay at day’s end. Between water and land, between day and night, between those that once walked the sands and those that still do, Longways/Crosswise created a tangible, lived encounter with the shifting, sifting world of Morecambe Bay for three sell-out performances in September 2018. Click here to view a short film of the event on YouTube


SHIP, Sculpture - Anna Gillespie Half Moon Bay, Heysham

Spring 2019

Anna Gillespie’s new, permanent sculpture for Morecambe Bay becomes simultaneously a welcoming beacon and a symbol of fond farewell at a traditional point of departure and arrival. Purposely crafted to be of no clear historic reference, yet making overt reference to the Viking longboats of former Bay dwellers, the evidently seafaring structure marks the boundary of land and sea. The two, accompanying ‘boatmen’ figures look forward and back, a reference to both the nature of any journey and the inevitable changes in Morecambe Bay’s landscape, population and industrial heritage, where fishing and shipping sit side-by-side with the contemporary influence of nuclear power. The sculpture will offer viewers the chance to stop and reflect, continuing the Bay’s ancient traditions as a place of retreat, spiritual reflection and pilgrimage. 


Made by the Moon and Bracken & Bones, Performance Storytelling by Emily Hennessy

July 2018  & Spring 2019 Arnside Knott & Birkrigg Common

Made by the Moon, Storytelling Walk at Arnside Knott with Emily Hennessey

Emily Hennessey, one of the UK’s finest contemporary performance storytellers, led a series of intrepid explorers on a hunt to find the stories that have been scattered like treasures across the landscapes of Birkrigg Common and Arnside Knott. Stories bring to life the local High Brown Fritillary, ask ‘Where do Shrimps Go in Winter?’ tell of ancient ghosts and shadowy figures and weave tales of Thor, Freya and Loki brought by the settlers who travelled by boat from the Nordic lands. Keep an eye on our events programme to sign up for new walks coming soon. 

These brand new commissions are kindly supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, through the Headlands to Headspace Scheme



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Search this old chart all you like - you'll never find the name Morecambe Bay because its use is relatively recent. 


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