When The Red Rose
New pop-up artworks to amaze and delight visitors to the Red Rose County
Look towards the sky, down a city alleyway, by the water and in unexpected corners, for artist Steve Messam’s new series of pop-up artworks; each inspired by the symbolic red rose of Lancashire and the lively cultural buzz generated by four of the biggest arts events taking place across the county this autumn.
Steve Messam’s When the Red Rose takes the historic symbol of Lancashire and by a twist of language transforms it into something new and surprising, just as the pieces themselves give familiar, sometimes overlooked spaces, a new burst of colour, energy and interest.
The first artwork is revealed in Preston, as part of the city’s free arts and culture festival, Lancashire Encounter, Friday 23 – Sunday 25 September. Here, a historic alleyway, Surgeon’s Court, will be transformed by 4,000 bright red balloons for When The Red Rose In Preston and an everyday and inconspicuous thoroughfare, is turned into a thing of wonder. The balloons will fill a space between buildings from Lune Street into Surgeon’s Court, with visitors able to walk beneath a canopy of red that will be also be illuminated in the evenings.
On Wednesday 19 October a vast, red, floating welcome will greet the restored Kennet short boat. When the Red Rose In Blackburn will celebrate the inaugural journey made 200 years ago, that opened this stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool canal and brought pride and optimism to the town’s creative and manufacturing community. Appearing at Blackburn’s Eanam Wharf as part of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Bi-Centenary, which will also feature the world premiere of The Rhapsody to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal (16 October only) supported by a wide programme of events.
Visitors will also be ‘seeing red’ at the new inaugural LightPool Festival, this year. The festival will celebrate Blackpool’s unique relationship with light, When the Red Rose In Blackpool will add a playful and surreal Lancashire twist to the resort’s unique, seaside heritage and enduring charm. Part of the dazzling annual Blackpool Illuminations celebration, the LightPool Festival is free to attend and takes place from Friday 28 October – Wednesday 2 November.
Steve Messam’s final artwork in the quartet, When the Red Rose In Lancaster, will see an impressive mass of large, bright-red balloons hovering fleetingly over a secret garden, before ascending into the night sky of this historic city. Creating the artwork in the walled gardens of the Storey Institute invites questions about abandoned and lost spaces, ignites curiosity and generates excitement for future possibilities. Part of the Light Up Lancaster annual celebrations from Friday 4 – Saturday 5 November.
When The Red Rose by Steve Messam was commissioned by Marketing Lancashire as part of a wider cultural tourism project funded by Arts Council England’s National Lottery Funded Grants for the Arts Programme, which sees Marketing Lancashire and leading stakeholders including Arts Lancashire, Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackpool Council, working together to establish Lancashire’s cultural offer as one of the leading reasons to visit the county.
For more information on these and a wide range of cultural events this autumn go to visitlancashire.com and follow #RedRose on Twitter.
For more information or to arrange interview please contact:
Anna Izza, Head of PR and Communications 01772 426 459
Laura Crabb, PR and Communications Executive 01772 426 456
Notes to Editors
Steve Messam Steve Messam is an environmental artist based in County Durham and working internationally. His ephemeral site-specific installations re-imagine the everyday, interrupting historical places and vacant architecture to help us perceive the familiar environment in a new way.
As an artist Steve Messam has worked primarily outside the gallery environment for the past 18 years. His works include ‘‘PaperBridge’ (2015) – a functioning packhorse bridge made from 22,000 sheets of paper in the Lake District; ‘Clad’ (2009) – a traditional timber-framed cottage wrapped in the fleece of 300 local sheep in Newtown, Wales and ‘Carpet’ (2013) – an installation of 25,000 jars of coloured ink in Lindisfarne Priory. He created the first off-site installation at the 2006 Shanghai Biennial and created a number of site specific installations across the Venetian Lagoon during the 2009 Venice Biennale.
When The Red Rose is commissioned by Marketing Lancashire as part of a wider cultural tourism project funded by Arts Council England’s National Lottery Funded Grants for the Arts Programme, which sees Marketing Lancashire and leading stakeholders including Arts Lancashire, Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackpool Council, working together to establish Lancashire’s cultural offer as one of the leading reasons to visit the county.