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Flamingos in the trees

Oct 18 2018, 1:33 AM

It's not often that my 17 year old son utters the words "I think I'll go for a walk" but then, he is in the middle of exam revision...

So he set off down the lane and across the fields, camera in hand, just in case...

When he came home, he was absolutely buzzing... "Have you been down to Acorn Bank recently?  It's amazing... I was walking up the road and I could see all these coloured things in the trees... and honestly, you've got to go, it's incredible.  A bit weird - but in a good way."

Well, I couldn't not go after that could I?  So the next morning I set off on a lovely bright day, hoping to catch a bit of the magic which had so inspired my son.  If you live in the area you are probably familiar with Eden Arts - they organise the C-Art festival each year and were responsible for Penrith's Winter Droving festival which I wrote about earlier (amongst many other events and activities).  One of this year's projects is CanopyArt, part of which involves the installation of crafted woollen items amongst the trees at Acorn Bank, near Temple Sowerby.

As you enter the woods, the exhibition/installation is over to the left on the path leading to the mill but I did my usual walk first which involves heading right towards the old mines, down to Crowdundle Beck and then along to the mill, finishing off with the lovely terrace path with the new artworks.  As you would expect from something which the public have been invited to contribute to, there is no definite style:  the pieces range from the realistic:

to the whimsical:

All have been designed with the trees in mind, perhaps none more so than this one:

If you've read my previous blogs you'll know I'm rather fond of fungi, so I loved this cluster of mushrooms and toadstools nestled on some moss beneath a tree:

Unlike an art gallery where you keep moving in an anticipated direction and your eyes are always at the same level, here you have to fully involve yourself in seeking out new treasures:  high in the trees, wrapped around the trunks or down on the ground, it is ideal for children who can get right in amongst the art in a way which isn't normally possible.

There's great attention to detail, with realistic subjects:

... as well as rather more fanciful creations:

The above picture is a tiny section of the tree devoted to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, produced by the Wool Clip Co-operative in Caldbeck.

And, if all this wasn't enough, there are so many other things to see and places to explore at Acorn Bank.  Why not visit and try and spot this:

(Hint:  it helps if you're small!)

Of course, Acorn Bank is well known for its garden and in particular, its herb garden so it is well worth visiting again later in the year when these are at their best.  For now, however, enjoy the art, visit the mill and be inspired... If something can capture the imagination of a teenager, there's every chance that you will enjoy it too.


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And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils

William Wordsworth »