Fun and intrigue in park’s ‘brave’ new art installations

cofArt installation at Kielder Water and Forest Park
cofArt installation at Kielder Water and Forest Park

A series of eight inspiring art installations has been unveiled at Kielder Water and Forest Park.

Castles, Follies and Elephants has been created by Newcastle artists and architects Oliver Perry, Claire Harper and James Perry.

It is a colourful, brave and surprising creation, which is sure to arouse strong interest and opinion.

It seeks to highlight the influences that have shaped the landscape of the North Tyne Valley and to emphasize the role the local landscape has played historically, from defence to infrastructure, power and leisure.

Each creation within the project has been designed to respond to its selected site, but also to deliberately sit ‘unnaturally’ within it.

Visitors will be invited to interact with the pieces in different ways – the creations might simply frame a view, they may draw attention to the landscape’s history, or they might highlight the current forest management.

The project was developed out of an inquiry into the history of the Kielder landscape and the institutions, individuals and organisations that have shaped the landscape and how it is used.

Each of the pieces references a moment in that potted history, from the 14th century peel towers to the 1930s Lewie Camp, and the vast underground infrastructure associated with the reservoir.

Peter Sharpe, art and architecture curator for Kielder Water and Forest Park Development Trust, said: “I’m really pleased to see the new work Castles, Follies and Elephants coming into being.

“This commission continues Kielder art and architecture’s creative exploration of Kielder Water and Forest Park in a very entertaining way, cleverly presenting eight extremely diverse influences on the park as we know it today, re-imagined as a collection of playful fragments of structures installed along a trail in the grounds of Kielder Castle.”

Castles, Follies and Elephants is supported by an award from Arts Council England’s National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts programme.