Monumental landscape artwork to go on show in Upper Teesdale
A TEMPORARY ARTWORK on a vast scale will go on show this summer and will highlight the way people have influenced the North Pennines landscape.
The North Pennines AONB Partnership has commissioned international landscape artist, Steve Messam to produce ‘Hush’, an outdoor installation inspired by the geology, mining history and landscape of the area. Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England, the piece will be on show this summer at Bales Hush, an old lead mining site on the Raby Estate in Upper Teesdale, County Durham.
Based in Upper Teesdale close to the site of this new artwork, Steve Messam is a renowned environmental artist who produces large-scale temporary works in landscapes around the world. His work will transform Bales Hush for just 17 days, between 19 July and 4 August. ‘Hush’ will give a dramatic emphasis to this feature of the landscape, created when miners worked the hillside by hand to expose a mineral vein, then flushed the area with water to further reveal the geological riches below. Now blending into its surroundings, the hush is a vast gouge in the landscape measuring over 400m long and up to 20m deep. Steve’s artwork will fill the space with 5 kilometres of recyclable saffron yellow fabric, forming hundreds of suspended sails. An immersive artwork, visitors will be able to view the piece from above as well as explore the hush below. This is a monumental artwork on a scale in keeping with the vast landscapes of the North Pennines. Remnants of a lead mining past, like Bales Hush, can be seen right across the uplands of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark.
How to see ‘Hush’
Start your visit at Bowlees Visitor Centre where you can pick up a leaflet and map. ‘Hush’ is a 3km/1.8 mile walk from the centre. Minibuses will be running to the site on Friday 19 July, and each weekend, between 10am and 4pm. Buses leave to the artwork on the hour and half-past the hour, and return to the visitor centre at quarter to and quarter past the hour. If you have particular accessibility requirements, please contact Bowlees Visitor Centre for more information (01833 622145). Guides will be on-site from 10am to 4pm daily.
Sorry, no dogs allowed on site.
Download the visitor information leaflet here, and see the map below for further information on how to get there.
Meet the Artist
We also have a ‘Meet the Artist’ event on Saturday 20 July at 2pm, when Steve Messam will be talking about the inspiration behind ‘Hush’ and the practicalities (or not) of installing a sizeable artwork on a North Pennines fell. Tickets are just £3 per person