Thursday, October 09, 2008

FRED 2008 - Cumbrian Art Invasion

Well it's a sad thing to say, but our experience of FRED2008 has not been a good one, but I'll try to review what little we've seen fairly.

The feather was, well, a floppy bit of plastic on a pond which was starting to say more about litter than a "giant feather fallen upon the water, seeming to have been plucked from the air and destined to float with the wind".

Feather Fotsam, by Caroline Dalton

Then last weekend, we drove all the way to Dent because we were incredibly attracted to the idea of Line of Site by Jenni Danson, but when we got there the traffic was depressing, the artwork what looked like miles away, and they wanted £££ for parking the car (Dentdale isn't the sort of place that lends itself to fly-parking). So, I think we saw it, but it could have easily been a bit of gas pipeline.

Distant Line of Site

On the way to Coniston we'd tried to tune in to "Under the Waters" at Thirlmere. On the A591, all we could get was Radio 2 so decided to revisit on the way back north. So yes we did this, driving around the western side of the lake for the first time, which was nice. We promptly forgot about the radio, and walked by the lake instead, capturing a few nice dragonfly shots while there.

And last night, we decided to drive to Stainmoor to see Domestication by Chloe Burns & Hannah Stewart (I could say something here about middle-class pretentions, but I'll resist because I know it's just me being unfair) ... This one more than most sounded right up our street - "A homely glow, from abandoned huts along the railway, are people living there again?" - this had our imagination warking overtime and it would be fabulous with the sunset behind it, perhaps with the Stainmore rock art in the foreground - B had great plans for this in his head. When we got there, just after 7pm and after dusk, not a sign of it, and the directions / loaction description was crap. The A66 is fairly unforgiving to U-turns, so we headed home disappointed having wasted 2 hours and more diesel.

"Get Out There?" I think we did.

This year is the last for FRED - no funding or perhaps the director Steve Messam wants to spend more time with his family or doing something creative (his Drop is fab)

It's a shame that our experience of FRED has been low, I still believe in it and things like it, and regret that it won't perhaps be around in the future. I love outdoor art and to have it in my home county is great. But PLEASE make it easier to find and PLEASE don't make the homepage look so impressive and fabby - the photos made our expectations too high.

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