Lake District UNESCO bid

view page content
Lake District world heritage main image

How the 'cultural landscape' continues to inspire today

21 September 2016

The dramatic Lakeland peaks, lakes and landscapes have been providing creative inspiration for generations and Lakes Culture has continued to seek out the talent in recent years too, with a series of stunning artworks that captivate imaginations across the county.  

From artworks up mountains and deep in forests, to intimate music and film venues and outdoor stages to share international film festivals like Kendal Mountain Festival, you can see and feel our creative spirit for miles around. Lakes Ignite is our celebration of the landscape inspiring innovative contemporary art, all tied up with the Lake District’s bid for World Heritage Status as a ‘cultural landscape’.

Key pieces have included PaperBridge a unique large-scale temporary installation made entirely from bright red paper, traversing a flowing river at the foot of Helvellyn, and a dream of its creator Steve Messam. The installation was made from paper specially made by James Cropper at the local Burneside Mill. As a leading manufacturer in coloured paper the piece also celebrated the world-class manufacturing that takes place in Cumbria.

Seven Nocturnal Rainbows for the English Lakes gave us a dramatic light installation created by artist Charles Monkhouse and inspired by the poets and artists of the Lake District and in particular JMW Turner’s famous painting ‘A Shower’, Buttermere. The rainbows appeared as the light faded each evening, becoming stronger as night took over from day. Each rainbow consisted of up to 250 floating LED units, each with its own GPS sensor that reacted to their location to create a gigantic spectrum as they travelled across the lakes.

There’s no doubt we have creative energy that puts us in a class of our own. The region is a thriving arts hub, with a wealth of independent galleries and studios. Meet artists and artisans, admire their work and take home your own mementos. Be uplifted by the spoken word and get your creative juices flowing with an abundance of workshops and short courses available in a variety of iconic locations.

A varied programme of events throughout the year are designed appeal to people from all walks of life. Long-running and award-winning events sit side-by-side with new and exciting experiences and festivals, resulting in a host of magical memories to keep forever. With Autumn just around the corner check out what’s on with our top 10 of cultural events to keep you entertained through the Winter season.

About the author

Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones, Senior PR Executive, Cumbria Tourism on behalf of Lakes Culture. A partner in the World Heritage bid.