Category Archives: Artist in residence

The art of nature …

Kathryn Parsons put some of the work on display at a Langdyke open day

Kathryn Parsons has just completed her first year working as Langdyke’s artist in residence in which she led the Langdyke Stories project which coincided with our 20th anniversary celebrations. Here we ask about the project’s progress and plans for the future …

Q: How did you feel the project went?
A: Langdyke Stories was a great success in so many different ways! More than 500 people participated in one way or another, with more than 300 of those creating miniature artworks inspired by Langdyke’s wildlife and heritage.  It was magnificent and I’m hugely grateful to everyone involved.
Q: What exactly did it entail?
A: Langdyke Stories was managed by Art Pop-Up, an arts organisation based in Stamford who specialise in community projects.  Working closely with Langdyke, we devised a project designed to draw people in and share with them some of the stories of our local wildlife and history. 
Nature and art combine
We wanted to enthuse, to build new networks, reinforce existing relationships by giving people as many different opportunities as possible to be part of the celebrations around Langdyke’s 20th anniversary. 
There’s far too much to list everything that happened, so here are a few of my personal highlights….
  • teaching so many art workshops at local community groups and festivals, including working with schools, W.I., Scouts, Guides and GLADCA. I loved seeing the enthusiasm to take part as different groups came together to support one another – sharing their space for the workshops, welcoming others along and once even lending equipment to another group.  Thank you all!
  • the Peterborough Heritage Festival, when we took over the Vivacity unit in Queensgate for the whole weekend.  While outside the Civil War re-enactors fired their echoing guns and canon, indoors with us there was an oasis of calm with poetry readings, the art workshop and a team of friendly Langdyke volunteers with beautiful photographs of our local wildlife and a mini natural history museum too.
  • the Open Day in July, when visitors of all ages braved the heat-wave to come to Etton-Maxey and join in the fun.  I hung some of my own artworks in the young oak trees, and my eco-printed ‘poems’ fluttered in the breeze.  As part of the project we also had artist-led workshops including making mini-sheep with Sue Shields, and beautiful paper wildflowers with Rose Croft. 
  • hearing Keely Mills read her new poem at the Torpel Open Day, on a beautiful sunlit summer evening, with a Red Kite soaring overhead.  The poem was commissioned especially for the project, and is included in … 
  • the beautiful Langdyke Stories book.  It was a real labour of love, with contributions from many Langdyke members and well-wishers.  The book was edited and designed by Sam Roddan of Art Pop-Up – it’s gorgeous Sam, thank you!  We’re hoping to print more soon, so that it can be made more widely available.

    Part of the Langdyke stories collection
  • the “Langdyke Museum of Objects”.  Conceived by David Cowcill, this virtual museum is a collection of personal stories and images of objects that tell of individuals’ connection with our local countryside … the objects and their stories are included in the book.
  • the display of the 300+ miniature artworks at Castor St Kyneburgha Church, and later at John Clare Cottage, where they were enjoyed by hundreds of visitors.  The artworks will be treasured and displayed again in the future.

    Scenes from a working party reflected in a leaf image
  • and for me the art residency part of the program, from which the workshops were developed, was a real delight.  I got to work with so many amazing people along the way, and have loved learning about Langdyke’s amazing nature reserves. I’ve explored and developed new ways of working with leaves from those reserves, and created a series of new artworks using those techniques.  The final collection of artworks in the series is a “Herbarium” of pressed leaves which I patterned into photographs using sunlight (see www.kathrynparsons.co.uk for more photographs) … I aim to develop this further in the future.
  • and most importantly….. seeing the enthusiasm and enjoyment of the project participants as they learned about Langdyke and worked to create their own miniature artworks in response to the wealth of history and wildlife … and the delight of new connections made with other people from our local community and with the natural world, both of which are so good for us all.
Some of the work on display at John Clare Cottage
We’re extremely grateful to Peterborough Community Fund and Athene Communications for sponsoring the project, and enabling us to offer all of this at no cost to Langdyke or the workshop participants.
 #PeterboroughTogether
Viewing the work
Q: Will you be continuing your work with Langdyke?
A: The Langdyke Stories project has finished now, but I’m delighted to be continuing as Langdyke’s Artist in Residence.  We’re putting new plans in place at the moment, but it’ll definitely include an exhibition of new Langdyke-inspired artworks at the Langdyke Open Day on  June 27, at Barnack Hills and Holes.
I’ll have some of the leaf-photographs with me, and I hope to see you there!  
Meanwhile, I’m continuing to blog about my Langdyke-related work on Langdyke’s Facebook group which is open to everyone to follow and join in the conversations  here

Our big art project

Meet Kathryn Parsons (pictured), Langdyke’s Artist in Residence – appointed to use her skills to bring a bit of colour to the Trust’s 20th birthday celebrations .

We asked her some questions about her new role. These are her
answers …

Q: How did the idea for the project come about?
A: The initial idea for Langdyke Stories grew out of a conversation with Richard Astle last autumn.  Langdyke has a long history of working with artists, and having ‘artists in residence’.  I was asked whether I might be interested – I said yes straight away!  The next step was to come up with some ideas to Langdyke’s Trustees and Committee.
It felt important to me to involve as many people as possible – Langdyke is all about people coming together to make things happen, and art can be a great way to reach people and help them connect with nature and each other.  That’s where the idea for a community art project came from.  I knew that community projects, where you’re working with lots of different groups, can be complex to manage so I suggested we talk to Sam Roddan of Art Pop-Up, who has a great deal of experience running highly successful art projects.  Happily Art Pop-Up agreed to take on the project, and so “Langdyke Stories” was born, with Art Pop-Up, Langdyke and me working in close collaboration. 

Q: How are things going?
A: The community artwork is now well underway, and in all we’ll be working with 300 people from our local community. Each person is going to create their own miniature artwork inspired by Langdyke’s nature and heritage.  These beautiful gems will be joined together and displayed at the 20th anniversary celebrations.  We’re using paper that has been coloured using a technique called eco-printing, using leaves from the Langdyke reserves to infuse the paper with colour …. I wanted to use eco-printing because of the gentle, relatively eco-friendly processes involved.
Langdyke Stories includes other elements too – we’ve launched a community history project, called The Museum of Objects. Also as Langdyke’s Artist in Residence I’m creating my own artworks for display at the celebrations, and Art Pop-Up will be publishing a beautiful souvenir Langdyke Stories anniversary book for Langdyke.  The book will be published in time for the September Langdyke Stories Celebration and annual meeting in Castor on September 13, and everyone that has contributed to the artwork will receive their own free copy.

Q: Where did the funding come from?
A:  Art Pop-Up secured the funding for the project from the Peterborough Community Fund and Athene Communications.  We’re very grateful to these organisations, and delighted to be able to say that this sponsorship and funding means that this project is not drawing on Langdyke funds.

Q: What are the main aims?
A: At the heart of Langdyke Stories is a desire to spread the news of Langdyke’s work to protect and nurture our local wildlife and heritage in a different, fun and enjoyable way.  The art workshops and the Museum of Objects are giving us opportunities to talk with local people about what Langdyke has achieved over the last 20 years.  We hope more people will become involved by visiting Langdyke’s reserves, coming to events and joining in work parties, becoming part of the Langdyke ‘family’, and that connections within the local community will be strengthened as a result.  Art activities are also a really good way for people to connect with the natural world, and that’s something very precious, especially these days.  We want Langdyke Stories to begin or reinforce people’s connection with Langdyke and the nature reserves, and for those connections to grow and flourish in the future.

 

Q: How will Langdyke Stories work?

A: Sam Roddan of Art Pop-Up is leading the project, in close collaboration with Langdyke.  As well as managing the project, Sam, who is an artist herself, will also be designing and publishing the Langdyke Stories book. I will be delivering the workshops as well as creating my own artworks that celebrate Langdyke’s stories – the people, plants, wildlife and heritage.  Art Pop-Up will also be running free artist-led workshops for visitors to Langdyke’s summer festival on 29th June.
The Museum of Objects is being led by one of Langdyke’s Trustees, David Cowcill. It was his magnificent idea, and he will be working with a small team of volunteers.
We have already put out a call for beautiful images of Langdyke’s landscape, people and nature – so if you have a photograph that you’d like to have considered for the book please email it to submissions@artpopup.co.uk

Q: How will the Museum of Objects work?

A: We’re inviting people to think of an object that says something about their connection with our local countryside, and bring it along to the Family Fun Day on June 29 , or the Peterborough Heritage Festival.  We’ll photograph the objects and collect the stories.  A small team will then choose their ‘top 10’ stories for inclusion in the Langdyke Stories book.
It feels to me that this part of the project links well with the work of Langdyke’s Heritage and Archaeology Group – they find out about historic connections with Langdyke countryside through the objects that they find…. and the Museum of Objects will do the same only without first having to bury the things for 100s of years!

Q: What will success look like?

A: Success will be.… more people that have heard of Langdyke, more people coming to events, visiting reserves and getting involved in Langdyke.  There will also be a legacy of groups coming together – new contacts being made because so many groups are working together, sometime for the first time…. and also a richer knowledge of our local countryside, its heritage and wildlife.

Q: What are the main events?
A:  Workshops are already underway with community groups.
At the Peterborough Heritage Festival we’ll be taking over Vivacity’s Unit in Queensgate (opposite McDonalds), with a drop-in Langdyke Stories workshop, poets reciting local-landscape-related poems, Langdyke information and an opportunity for people to bring along an object to be photographed for the Museum of Objects.
Other events include:
June 29 2-5pm – Langdyke’s Family Fun Day at Etton-Maxey – load happening as described before
September 13 Langdyke Stories Celebration and annual meeting in Castor will bring together all the artworks created this year, as well as all that Langdyke is planning with a line up of great speakers

Q: What’s happening at the open day?
A: It’ll be fun!  The community artwork will be displayed and visitors will have the opportunity to add to it, for display at the September Celebration.  Art Pop-Up are running free artist-led workshops, there will also be pond dipping, bug hunting, nature treasure hunts etc… all activities are for grownups as well as children!

Q: What’s happening at the Langdfyke Stories celebration and annual meeting event?
A: There will be an exhibition of the artworks created during the residency and Langdyke Stories project, free art workshops As well as talks by a host of eminent speakers.

Q: Tell us a little but about yourself and Art Pop-Up
A: From childhood I have always created and loved exploring different materials and techniques, finding out what they can do – from lace making to silversmithing, sugarcraft to printmaking.  I started off as a teacher in Primary then Further education, and eventually realised that although I still loved teaching, I wanted to shift my focus to creating my own artwork – using different materials and techniques to tell the stories that catch my attention and draw me in.  Usually my focus is on the small details of nature and the history of places – the people, plants and wildlife.  I suppose that’s why being Langdyke’s Artist in Residence resonates so deeply with me.  I’ve been a volunteer with the Trust for about 3 years now (I can’t remember exactly), and it’s a delight for me to be able to use my art to share the stories of how precious this area and this organisation are… to have the opportunity to share with other people some of stories about the rich wildlife and heritage that that Langdyke nurtures

Q: Anything else?
A: erm….. not that I can think of …

See us at heritage festival

Langdyke has its own stand at this weekend’s Peterborough Heritage Festival in the city centre on Saturday and Sunday.

The festival is the UK’s largest multi-period city centre living history  festival.

The Langdyke stand  will be in the Vivacity unit in Queensgate opposite the McDonalds entrance and right next to Cathedral Square where the main event is centred.

The theme of the main event this year is’Victorians’ marking 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria.

What’s happening at the LCT stand?

Langdyke volunteers – suppporting Artist in residence Kathryn Parsons – will be welcoming people, chatting about the trust and its work.

On view will be photo boards and information leaflets and flyers designed to encourage people to join the Trust.

Another key aim is to promote the Langdyke Museum of Objects book, due to be published at the annual meeting, full of memories about connections between nature and the people who visit the countryside. People are being encouraged to bring in objects so they can be photographed for the book.

Kathryn is running a drop-in workshop so people can come and add to our community artwork.  Everyone that adds to the artwork will get an invitation to our Saturday June event and if they come to the annual meeting they will get a free copy of the anniversary book.

A couple of poets will also be calling in to to read their poetry that relates to Langdyke countryside/nature

More details about the Peterborough Heritage Festival at https://vivacity.org/heritage/peterborough-heritage-festival-2019/

 

Exciting new arts project

 

 

 

An exciting new arts project has been launched to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Langdyke Countryside Trust.

The programme – called ‘Langdyke Stories’- is in partnership with Art Pop-Up and will see Kathryn Parsons become the Trust’s Artist in Residence.

Artist in Residence Kathryn Parsons with one of the Langdyke sheep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Langdyke chairman Richard Astle said: “It is great to have an artist in residence working with us to mark Langdyke’s 20th anniversary and to help us to encourage more local people to appreciate the sights and sounds of the countryside.  

“We look forward to working with Kathryn and Art Pop-Up to welcome a new audience to our nature reserves and hopefully to encourage them to take a keener interest in nature, the countryside and the work of Langdyke.

Supported by the Peterborough Communities Fund, Langdyke Stories, will see Kathryn undertake an artist’s residency, creating work inspired by the reserves.

Art Pop-Up will also be running a free art workshop programme taught by Kathryn, exploring the eco-printing she’s developing. 

As part of the project the team behind the scheme will be publishing a beautiful anniversary book to celebrate the project.

So if you’ve got any amazing photos of Langdyke do get in touch.

Museum of Objects

Langdyke is also launching a community history project ‘The Museum of Objects’ with items brought in by local people that say something about their relationship with the nature, landscape or history of the LCT area.

Do you have something that tells a story about the Langdyke reserves or your connection to the nature we protect?  We are looking for items and stories to feature in our ‘Langdyke Stories’ book, for example a beautifully worn old dog lead that demonstrates the daily countryside walks by one of our volunteers. Please do get in contact with organiser, Langdyke Trustee David Cowcill via the email address for this website: editor@langdyke.org.uk

Follow the progress of Langdyke Stories  on this website as well as on Facebook  Twitter and Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Programme of arts events

The arts strand of this year’s celebrations has a full programme of events so we do hope you will join us at some of the following events:

Free drop-in arts workshop with Kathryn Parsons

  • June Community workshop, date to be confirmed, please email if your community group are interested in being involved info@artpopup.co.uk
  • Sat 15- Sun 16 June at Peterborough Heritage Festival
  • Fri 28 June (members only) at Langdyke Summer Festival, Torpel Field
  • Sat 29 June at Langdyke Summer Festival (open to all), Etton-Maxey reserve
  • Sat July 14 at the John Clare Society Festival, Helpston Scout Hut PE6 7DU
  • Fri 13 September at the Langdyke anniversary gathering at Castor Church and Cedar Centre PE5 7AX

Diary date: Local artist Sue Shields will also be hosting a free drop-in art workshop at the Langdyke Summer Festival plus there’ll be lots of other nature activities and family fun, make a date in your diary now!

Interested in becoming involved in the  arts programme?
Please do get in contact via info@artpopup.co.uk

Kathryn Parsons and her work

About our artist in residence, Kathryn Parsons

This is a sample of her work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathryn is a mixed media artist and visual story-teller. She creates intricate, intimate works that weave together tales of people, places and the natural world.

Kathryn’s work has been exhibited at The Victoria & Albert Museum, The National Centre for Craft & Design, Burghley House, Derby Museum and John Clare Cottage Museum. www.kathrynparsons.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Art Pop-Up

Art Pop-Up is a non-profit arts organisation based in Stamford.

We’ve been organising art activities and engagement programmes in the region for 8 years now; from arts festivals to residencies and exhibitions, community and education projects and kids’ summer art courses, including major projects such as Once Upon a Time and the WW1 Commemoration Programme in Stamford.

We use art as an interesting and enjoyable access point to encourage wider participation and understanding. As cultural engineers, we provide unique opportunities to make and promote art and culture regionally. You can find us at fb.com/artpopup.uk if you want to know more.