A MAJOR open-air art exhibition following a watercourse from the heart of the fells to the foot of Windermere will be staged this spring.

Reflective Moments is a celebration of the work of Windermere Reflections – the group tasked with improving water quality in the lake’s catchment area, as it nears the end of its three-year prog-ramme.

It will feature workshops, events, and temporary art installations by Cumbria-based Steve Messam.

Starting at Dunmail Raise, they will follow the flow of water down the River Rothay through Grasmere and Rydal Water into Windermere, finishing at Newby Bridge.

Locations along the way are Wordsworth’s former home at Allan Bank in Grasmere, the viewing station in the grounds of Rydal Hall, Borrans Park Ambleside, the Windermere ferry and Claife station.

The exhibition aims to celebrate Windermere Reflections while highlighting the contribution of the Lakeland fells to culture and heritage.


“The fells have influenced the way we perceive and appreciate landscape,” said WR programme manager Liz Davey.

“Windermere’s water flows from Dunmail down past historic landscape vantage points of Roman and modern British warfare, to those of the picturesque and Romanticism movements.”

Events forming part of the exhibition include aerial photography and Chinese landscape art and an opportunity to create poetry on Windermere’s car ferry.

Steve Messam is an environmental artist based near Brough. He creates large-scale temporary artworks in landscapes all over the world – from carpet patterns made from 25,000 jars of ink on Lindisfarne to a series of vast balls made from umbrellas in the heart of Shanghai and over-sized bubbles flying over a boating lake on the Fylde coast.

He said: “The challenge is to encourage people to experience the history of looking at the landscape.”

The project is part of Heritage Lottery funded Windermere Reflections to mark three years of campaigning to improve the water quality.


Breathtaking artworks to look forward to:

* Dunmail Raise viewing box: The WW2 pillbox beside the Grasmere to Keswick Road will be transformed into a Camera Obscura - a fitted lens in one of the windows projects the view over Grasmere on to the opposite wall, while the outside will be clad in 2,000 silver balls, reflecting the surrounding landscape and making it shimmer.
l At Allan Bank in Grasmere, once home of William Wordsworth and a key location in the development of the Romantic movement, visitors will be able to send their cameras 1,000ft into the air beneath weather balloons to take stunning aerial photographs in a drop-in workshop with artist Bryony Purvis.
l Rydal Hall: Cumbrian artist Irene Sanderson will host free workshops in Chinese landscape painting in the viewing “grotto”. The oldest purpose-built viewing station in the UK, it was refurbished in 2005 and overlooks a waterfall.
l Borrans Park at Waterhead will see the installation of a giant kaleidoscope, three metres high and five metres long, which will look out down Windermere and fragment the view while people silhouetted on the lakeshore become moving patterns.
* Windermere car ferry - Foot passengers can create their own Lakeland verse with giant magnetic poetry.
* Claife viewing station: the ‘Sound Mirror’ is a collection of unheard sounds of water and the lake emanating from the rocks and trees. The sounds of trees drinking and crayfish walking are part of the audible treasure hunt.
* Fell Foot Park will host ‘Drop’, Messam’s giant reflective installation based on a raindrop - the building blocks of the Lakes - and standing the height of a three-storey building from May 30.