Hush by Steve Messam

19 Jul 2019 – 4 Aug 2019

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Bowlees Visitor Centre

Barnard Castle, United Kingdom

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Monumental landscape artwork by international artist Steve Messam to go on show in Upper Teesdale


A TEMPORARY ARTWORK on a vast scale will go on show this summer and will highlight the way people have influenced the North Pennines landscape.

The North Pennines AONB Partnership has commissioned international landscape artist, Steve Messam to produce ‘Hush’, an outdoor installation inspired by the geology, mining history and landscape of the area. Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England, the piece will be on show this summer at Bales Hush, an old lead mining site on the Raby Estate in Upper Teesdale, County Durham. 

Based in Upper Teesdale close to the site of this new artwork, Steve Messam is a renowned environmental artist who produces large-scale temporary works in landscapes around the world. His work will transform Bales Hush for just 17 days, between 19 July and 4 August. ‘Hush' will give a dramatic emphasis to this feature of the landscape, created when miners worked the hillside by hand to expose a mineral vein, then flushed the area with water to further reveal the geological riches below. Now blending into its surroundings, the hush is a vast gouge in the landscape measuring over 400m long and up to 20m deep. Steve’s artwork will fill the space with 5 kilometres of recyclable saffron yellow fabric, forming hundreds of suspended sails. An immersive artwork, visitors will be able to view the piece from above as well as explore the hush below. This is a monumental artwork on a scale in keeping with the vast landscapes of the North Pennines. Remnants of a lead mining past, like Bales Hush, can be seen right across the uplands of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark.


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