Carlisle floods inspire new artworks


Two artists inspired by the power of Mother Nature, are preparing to reveal more details of their work in Carlisle.

Their efforts will be displayed at the Old Fire Station, a venue which was badly damaged by the events of December 2015.

Laura Harrison, from the city, and John Dummett were unveiled earlier this year as artists in residence, in a joint scheme run by the University of Cumbria and Carlisle City Council.

The university's Institute of the Arts and the council, with support from Arts Council England, launched their scheme last January and received 28 applications for the two posts.

Seven artists were selected to develop their proposals further before the two artists were selected. They both took inspiration from Storm Desmond and its impact on the county.

Laura is a graduate from the master’s programme in contemporary fine art at the university's Brampton Road campus.

Her work tracks water courses, from the hills to the sea and the range of emotional effects their turbulent and quiet spaces provoke.

Using film shot at night, her work focuses as much on sound as images.

Meanwhile John Dummett, who recently completed a PhD by Art Practice at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, has produced an installation and a performance-based piece.

It has taken the form of a series of public events which he has called ‘Soundings’.

Each is a temporary installation within the Old Fire Station's dormitory room.

Both artists will present more details about their work at Tullie House Art Gallery on Tuesday, October 17.

The 7pm public presentation event is free but places are limited so tickets must be booked in advanced.

The "Immersion/Emergence" public presentation later this month comes ahead of the launch of their exhibitions, which open at the Old Fire Station in November.

They will run until December 1.

Dr Mark Wilson, professor in fine art at the University of Cumbria, said: "Everyone is warmly invited to the talks and to share in a discussion arising from their work and how their very different methods of research, inquiry and public engagement can access, touch and move communities who share collective experience and subsequent memories of disruptive environmental events here and across the world.

"This event at Tullie House provides a unique opportunity to catch the artists midway in the process of their research and making and to discuss with them the opportunities and problematics of art in relation to crisis, recovery and environmental adjustment."

It is not the first time that floods-inspired art has been exhibited at the city venue.

Last year Tullie House's artist in residence - Rosie Galloway Smith - invited members of the public to populate a textile map, with their stories and signatures.

The fabrics which provided the backdrop for the piece were donated by two of the city’s textile firms, Stead McAlpin and Linton Tweeds, who have both suffered flooding in recent years.

It was entitled Bloodlines: Floodlines and was on display to mark the first anniversary of the storm.

For more information about the artists' presentation event on October 17, call the art gallery box office on 01228 618700.

Alternatively, pop into the museum during office hours.

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