News

Performing Mountains: How do Artists Touch the Void?

17 November 2018

Kendal Mountain Festival

During Materialising The Void: A feminine sublime approach to mountain walking-performance

Returning, We Hear The Larks

2-3 November 2018

Light Up Lancaster

 

suffused with grief and yet holding all the promise or resurrection ... the impact was almost unbearably moving

On entering The Priory, visitors were given a red card, bearing the name of one of the 6,500 men from  the Kings Own Lancaster Regiment who were killed. Each cards was placed in the church, ‘spilling out like rivers all around The Priory’ as one visitor put it. A mound of red prayer kneelers and prayer books interlaced with 2,000 hand-made red paper roses was built in front of the altar. A film of the Regiment leaving Lancaster was layered with the two photos of the bell ringers and projected onto an empty chair. The sound of larks and distant church bells hung in the air. Women of the congregation played the part of women who have yearned for their lost loved ones. They adopted stilled gestures taken from a painting of the Last Supper in the Priory, then moved silently to gather at the altar. Meanwhile, the choir sang Rosenberg’s poem Returning, We Hear The Larks set to music by Don Gillthorpe, the Priory Director of Music. 

 

Photograph: Darren Andrews.

Performer: Ellen Francis.

Skiddaw Excursion: Top Hat Flies Over Edge

29 September 2018

On 29 September I took part in a re-creation of a walk up Skiddaw undertaken by friends of Dorothy Wordsworth 200 years ago.

The excursion was filmed by Esther Edusi and Katie Usher, their film Top Hat Flies Over Edge can be seen here

Paper-Rose Workshop

13 and 27 October 2018 

If you would like to be involved in the making of 2,000 paper roses for the Remembrance: 'Returning We Hear The Larks' installation, please join Louise and a team of makers on 13 and 27 October (11.30am.–2pm.) in the refectory at Lancaster Priory.

Remembrance: ‘Returning We Hear The Larks’

2-11 November 2018

Light Up Lancaster

As part Light Up Lancaster 2018, Louise is creating a site-specific performance-installtion at Lancaster Priory entitled Remembrance: 'Returning, We Hear The Larks.'

This work will mark the centenary of the end of World War One, and reflect on lives changed forever by that conflict and the loss of those who never returned home to Lancaster. 

Remembrance: 'Returning, We Hear The Larks' will use artefacts and objects found in and associated with Lancaster Priory in combination with a paper installation of red-roses to create an immersive candle-lit performance-installation involving singers from the Priory choir.
 

 

Women’s Walks to Remember: With Memory I was there

1 September to 23 December 2018

Exhibition NOW OPEN

Wordsworth Trust Museum, Grasmere

 

Women’s Walks to Remember: "With Memory I was there" is inspired by Dorothy Wordsworth’s Rydal Journals in which she describes “rural sights and sounds” in vivid detail and recollects the landscape and walks she was no longer able to do. It recreates some of Dorothy Wordsworth’s walks and walks that present-day women in the Lake District can no longer do.

Louise has been re-walking each remembered walk and gathering together  ‘treasures’ – hand drawn maps, words, objects, photos – to share with each of the women. These items are currently displayed in the gallery at the Wordsworth Trust Museum together with the original art works that she is developing to reflect her experiences of meeting and walking for these women and Louise's installation entitled Dorothy's Room

Eventually, Dorothy’s walks and those of the present-day women are being mapped to create a network of ‘Women's Walks to Remember’. 

Dorothy’s Room

1 September to 23 December 2018

Wordsworth Trust Museum, Grasmere

 

Dorothy's Room is now OPEN at the Wordsworth Trust Museum as part of Louise's Women's Walks to Remember: With memory I was there' exhibition.


Please click here to watch me in conversation with Melissa Mitchell, curator at the Wordsworth Trust,  about Dorothy’s Room and Women’s Walks to Remember: 'With memory I was there'.
 

Creative Adventures in Dementia

The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster

17-18 May 2018


Mapping Workshop (Walks to Remember) with Louise Ann Wilson at the Creative Adventures in Dementia Festival.

In these practical and creative ‘mapping’ workshop participants used simple drawing and writing processes to remember a walk that is significant to them. Over the duration of four-sessions a wonderful collection of very personal maps were created and displayed in a small exhibition. 

Close-up Clougha Pike Collection

Louise is currently exhibiting photogaphs from her  Close-up Clough Pike Collection in the  “UPCYCLE RECYCLE” exhibition at Gallery 23, Arteria, Lancaster.

The limited edition photographic-images in this collection, entitled Close-up Clough Pike – were taken at Clougha Pike near Lancaster in Spring 2018. They seek to capture the unique colour, texture and form of the lichens growing on the rocks found there.

The exhibition runs from 17 May through to 6 October 2018.

Fertility Fest 2018

9 May 2018

Fertility Fest 8 - 13 May 2018, The Bush Theatre, London

At Fertility Fest 2018 I am talking on two panels: There’s More To Life Than Having Children and Men Have Infertility Too. On this second panel I will be talking about a version of Warnscale that explores the male experience of in/fertility and biological childlessness that I am looking to create. Click here for details.

Using Warnscale as a model this new version of Warnscale will find a ‘site/walk/landscape’ that works in response/metaphor to the specifics of the male experience; and, though this new walk and book will be a companion to Warnscale it would be have its own title, identity and set of material.

If you are interested in being involved please email me at [email protected]

 

Fertility Fest is the world’s first arts festival dedicated to fertility, infertility, modern families and the science of making babies. Hosted by London's Bush Theatre (8th - 13th May 2018) it will feature 150 artists and fertility experts in a week long programme of events, entertainment, discussion, debate, support and solidarity about how the human race is being made (and sometimes not being made) in the modern world. 

Glad-Var Gallery Exhibition

I am currently exhibiting and selling some of my recent watercolour studies from the series entitled 'Petra' (rock/stone) in the exhibition entitled “GLAD-VAR” at GALLERY 23 upstair in Arteria, Lancaster.

There is something about the anticipation of spring that fills you with optimism. New life blossoms all around you and we are rewarded with lighter evenings and the prospect of a brighter day! With “GLAD – VAR” we wish you a “HAPPY SPRING” with a collection of artisan creations celebrating the change of the season.  The show is a joyful mix of art and craft to uplift and inspire.

The exhibition runs from 11th Janaury to 12 May 2018. Call in the exhbtio and my paintings if you can.

For more information call 01524 61111 or email [email protected]

Publication: Language, Landscape, Sublime

June 29-30 2016, Dartington Hall & Sharpham House, Devon, England.

Louise's paper is published in the Online Publication coming from the two-day symposium, which drew together artists and thinkers from a wide range of disciplines to explore ways in which landscape –– and the ways we represent it –– connects deeply to our lives and underpins our relationship to the world.

Article Title: 'Creating Warnscale: Applying Dorothy Wordsworth’s Mode of the Feminine Sublime to a Walking-Performance about In/Fertility and Biological Childlessness' by Louise Ann Wilson

Abstract: This paper will focus on Warnscale created and written by Louise Ann Wilson. Warnscale is a self-guided walking-performance specific to the Warnscale fells south of Buttermere Lake, Cumbria. Mediated through a multi-layered walking-guide/art-book, the walking-performance is aimed at women who are childless-by-circumstance. Society offers no rituals or rites of passage through which women who have ‘missed’ the life-event of biological motherhood can be acknowledged and come to terms with that absence. Warnscale, however, offers imaginative and creative ways through which participants can engage with landscape in order to reflect-upon, re-image and transition (even in the smallest of ways) the liminality that this circumstance can lead to.

This paper explores how Warnscale was developed through: an in-depth, ‘situated’ study of the landscape in which it was created; observational research in fertility clinics; and a close reading of the journal writings of Dorothy Wordsworth.

Wordsworth’s Grasmere Journals describes how she walked in, and engaged with, the landscape in a manner that was embodied, multi-sensory and materially specific – a mode, I suggest, that can be understood as a form of the ‘feminine sublime’. This sublime, I argue, can also be located in her ability to notice the ‘common-place’ and thus see afresh ‘everyday’ objects, people and experiences that are ordinarily overlooked, or on the edges of social and cultural discourse. Warnscale works with an applied use of Wordsworth’s ‘feminine sublime’ mode of walking, dwelling and noticing and is framed by extracts from her journals.

Mobile Utopia: Conference, Exhibition, Catalogue

2-5 November 2017, Lancaster University

Mobile Utopia Conference, Exhibition and Catalogue 

Exhibition: Mobile Utopias: Art and Experiments

Exhibit: 'Making Warnscale' by Louise Ann Wilson

Using texts, photographs, drawings, mapping-walk maps and artefacts this exhibition shows how Warnscale mobilised 3-tiers of research that involved an in-depth study of the landscape in which it is situated, observation field work in fertility clinics, and a series of group and one-to-one mapping-walks with individuals affected by biological childlessness. The exhibition also shows how a close reading of the journal writings of Dorothy Wordsworth who walked in and wrote extensively about her experience of the landscape of the Lake District, informed Warnscale and its desire to engage the reader/walker in new, or different, ways of seeing and feeling the landscape and through that embodied, creative and immersive landscape experience transform their experiences of the underlying subject matter.

See the exhibition catalogue: Mobile Utopias: Art and Experiments (2017). ISBN: 978-1-86220-3339-6.

 

Panel: Utopia and Place.

Paper Presentation: 'Warnscale: Emplacing, Re-imaging and Transforming ‘Missing’ Life-Events' by Louise Ann Wilson

Louise's paper explored how rural landscapes can become a ‘site of transformation’ where ‘missing’, or challenging, ‘life-events’ are emplaced, re-imaged and transformed. The paper case studies (Warnscale) (2015-ongoing) and explores how, in Warnscale, the landscape and the act of walking and dwelling becomes a transformative metaphor for the underlying subject matter and applies theories relating to therapeutic landscape and mobilities. It articulates how Warnscale was created through three-tiers of research that mobilised the site, the science of the underlying subject (in/fertility) and, through a series of group and one-to-one mapping-walks, individuals affected by biological childlessness – thus challenging and re-imaging the normative ‘utopias’ around biological motherhood.

The paper, analyses how Warnscale evolved and applied a series of six scenographic principles. These principles were informed by theories and aesthetics relating to landscape, pilgrimage, Early Romanticism, and a close study of Dorothy Wordsworth’s, and her contemporaries’ approach to landscape. The mobile, embodied ‘mode’ of engaging with landscape that these women pursued enabled them to see afresh objects, people and experiences that were ordinarily overlooked – thus producing a materially specific ‘utopia of the everyday’ – that articulated non-mainstream ‘lived’ experiences and discourses on landscape, and can be mobilised as a creative strategy in contemporary socially engaged performance practice. 

Mulliontide: A Guide for Walkers

Publication of Mulliontide: A walk from Poldhu Cove to Mullion Cove.

Mulliontide is a coastal walk from Poldhu Cove to Mullion Cove that I created in 2016 in collaboration with residents of Mullion, Cornwall. The walk notices the effects of tide and time, acknowledges deep feelings for place and recognises the challenges of change – personal and topographical.

Those who did the walk over one weekend in October 2016 responded so positively that I have produced a special guide book so that others can share the experience. The walk takes you along the coast stopping at fifteen stations en route. The stations introduce you to residents who tell you what is important to them about that place. Each of these residents has deep feelings for this coastal landscape and knows it, and its constantly changing nature, intimately.

The guide book invites you to get to know these people through their words, photographs and songs and to immerse yourself in the place through your own actions. Even if doing the walk itself is not feasible, this publication will provide you with a striking record of my most recent work.

 

Mulliontide: A Guide for Walkers costs £6.00 + £1.50 postage & packing.


If you would like to buy a copy please email Louise at: [email protected] 
 

Mulliontide: NEW walk by Louise Ann Wilson

 

Mulliontide

Created by Louise Ann Wilson

Produced by Golden Tree Productions

10-1pm, 29 & 30 October 2016

Mulliontide is a sited-walk from Poldhu to Mullion Cove, The Lizard, Cornwall. Evolved in collaboration with local residents, the walk focuses on a much-loved coastal landscape and explores the places where land, sea and people meet. It notices the effects of tide and time, acknowledges deep feelings for place and recognises the challenges of change. 

Moving from station to station along the coastal path, the walk invites participants to notice specific landscape features and layers them with memories, photos, songs and actions in order to think about belonging, loss and repair. The walk is a time for joining together to celebrate and reflect.

Please note: Mulliontide starts at Poldhu Cove at 10am. It follows (and leaves) the coastal path, covers approx. 2 miles and will take up to 3 hours to complete including stops and lunch. Afterwards, we will return walkers to any cars at Poldhu Cove. The walk has ascents and descents, is rough in places and crosses wet and uneven rocks (with care). We suggest, therefore, that Mulliontide is not suitable for children under 14 or those unused to walking on rough paths.

 

Mulliontide is part of the larger project Miss You Already produced by Golden Tree Productions.

It is funded by the National Trust, The Exchange, the University of Exeter and supported by Hall for Cornwall.

Photograph: bob felce (Mullion)

Louise to speak at Fertility Fest 2016

Louise is talking about The Gathering and Warnscale at Fertility Fest 2016. The festival takes place at the Birmingham Rep on Saturday 28th May and at London’s Park Theatre on Saturday 11th June. It will feature over twenty five leading writers, visual artists, theatre-makers, film-directors and composers alongside some of the country’s foremost fertility experts in two days of live performance, discussion and debate. The festival is running alongside a new play by the award-winning writer Gareth Farr called The Quiet House about a couple’s experience of going through IVF.


Full details can be found here.

Warnscale on BBC Radio 4 ‘Ramblings’

On 17th September 2015 at 3pm you can listen to Clare Balding on a visit to Cumbria, walking and talking with Louise about her latest project, Warnscale: A Land Mark Walk Reflecting on In/Fertility and ChildlessnessThey were accompanied by Dr Celia Roberts of Lancaster Unversity and Dr Zakyeya Atcha, both of whom were involved in the development of the project.

Click here to listen.

Warncale: A Land Mark Walk Reflecting on In/Fertility and Childlessness (Warnscale) is a self guided walking-performance specific to, and created in, Warnscale, an area of fells to the south of Buttermere Lake. The performance is mediated through a walking guide and art book and is aimed at women who are childless by circumstance. 

The book (with geology hand lens) is available to purchase at a subsidised price of £23 (plus P&P) here.

Groups and individuals can undertake the walk in their own time. 

Warnscale Exhibition at The Wordsworth Trust

Exhibition at the Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere – 20 June to 19 July

From 20 June to 19 July 2015 performance maker and artist Louise Ann Wilson will present an exhibition of photographs, drawings and artefacts at the Wordsworth Trust that offer an insight into the 12 month process of creating her new walking-art book, Warnscale: A Land Mark Walk Reflecting on In/Fertility and Childlessness.

Louise researched and developed Warnscale through in-depth studies of the landscape in which it is situated combined with observational research in fertility clinics, a series of mapping-walks, and a close reading of the journal writings of Dorothy Wordsworth who walked in and wrote extensively about her experience of the landscape of the Lake District. Indeed, Dorothy Wordsworth has informed the book and its aim of engaging the reader/walker in new, or different, ways of engaging with landscape in order to reflect upon and even transform their experiences.

You can find out more about the exhibition by clicking here.

Warnscale book available to buy

Warnscale: A Land Mark Walk Reflecting on In/Fertlity and Childlessness

Warnscale: A Land Mark Walk

A culmination of an experimental new project the publication is designed to enable participants to undertake a self-guided/performed walk in the Warnscale area of fells that lie to the south of Buttermere in the Lake District thereby making their own journey the 'missing' life-event of becoming a biological parent, for which there is no traditional rite of passage.

On 16 May & 17 May 2015, the book will be launched with an exhibition and two days of group walks with Louise. Those who want to join a walking group will need to register through the website here where they will also be able to reserve a copy of the book.  Each walk will be followed by light refreshments at the exhibition in Buttermere Village Hall, which will also be open to the public throughout the weekend, about the development of the project and a chance to talk with Louise and others involved in the creation of the book.

The book will subsequently be available for purchase through this website and groups and individuals can undertake the walk in their own time. For information about how to book a place on one of the two group walks planned to launch the project, please visit the gold tabs above. 

The project has been made possible with support from Arts Council England, Arts & Humanities Research Council; Seed Bed Trust and LICA, Lancaster University.