The Cumbrian coastline is the inspiration for an exciting new public art commissions programme featuring an array of international contemporary artists, including several former Turner Prize winners.

‘Deep Time’ will launch to the public in Spring 2023, drawing on the varied landscape and rich heritage of West Cumbria, its people and place.

Part of a wider coastal improvement project to shine the spotlight on the county’s coastline, Deep Time has been commissioned by Copeland Borough Council and is funded by HM Government’s Coastal Communities Fund, Sellafield Ltd’s Six Social Impact multiplied programme and Arts Council of England.

It will include a curated programme of art works and moving image works at landmarks and sites along the Cumbrian Coast between Millom and Whitehaven, as well as an opening weekend programme of performances, screenings and events.

Deep Time will feature six new permanent site-specific art commissions by renowned artists Martin Boyce, Marcus Coates, Ryan Gander, Atelier Van Lieshout, Susan Philipsz and Yelena Popova.

There will also be an exhibition of four design proposals for a major landmark artwork at the Beacon Museum, Whitehaven and Windermere Jetty Museum from September 2022 – again, featuring high-profile artists from across the globe.

Alongside this, there will be five new writers’ commissions, plus a public engagement programme supported by Arts Council England and including three artists residencies hosted by the CNPPA (Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas).

Reacting to the announcement, Mike Starkie, Copeland’s Elected Mayor, said: “There are already lots of reasons to visit Copeland, and we have a vibrant art scene. Our impressive coastline is the perfect location to inspire creativity. And now, by commissioning this project, we’re providing a way for artists to spotlight our hidden gem.

“The wide range of projects shows what we have to offer and celebrate here – the art will be inspired by everything from our World Heritage Sites to our status as an international leader in the nuclear industry. Next spring will be an incredibly exciting time and I look forward to seeing residents and visitors enjoy all the Deep Time projects.”

All the Deep Time project artists have spent time in Cumbria to develop new works that actively reflect aspects of its landscape, people and place.

The programme has been developed by curator and producer Aldo Rinaldi. He commented, “It has been wonderful to spend time exploring Cumbria’s west coast with the artists and writers involved in Deep Time. Creatives have been visiting this area for centuries, to experience and depict its varied landscape, culture, and people.

“The site-specific artworks that have emerged are a direct result of these experiences of ‘place’. From its lost textile industry, to its iconic nuclear status, to its UNESCO World Heritage Status and flora artists are adept at getting under the skin of a place, and making us see things anew. I am looking forward to sharing their ideas with the public over the coming year”.

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