Lakes Ignite Festival Celebrates World Heritage Success

A series of specially commissioned artworks have started appearing across the Lake District in celebration of last year's award of World Heritage Site status to the region by Unesco.

Of six contemporary pieces, the Lakes Ignite festival began this month with four pieces now installed in various locations in the Lakes, available to visit and view between now and this July.

“Lakes Ignite is about bringing together tourism and the arts," said Usha Mistry, from Lakes Culture, the organisation behind the event.

"The Lake District has a defined culture, rich in music, theatre, poetry and painting. We want to show that Cumbria is also a great place to experience new contemporary culture and that the iconic landscapes of the Lake District continue to influence artists today."

The six installations provide their own unique and individual perspective on the story of the World Heritage bid. 

The first installation appeared at Penrith's Rheged on January 10th; a large inflatable pair of 'breathing' fluorescent lungs created by Michael Shaw entitled 'Slung.' This has been followed up by Brian and George Fell's 'Arctic Char' - a handmade steel sculpture depicting a shoal of the fish, with each measuring about a metre in length. Arctic Char is now on display outside the Salutation Hotel in Ambleside.

January also sees 'Ordnance Pavilion' from Studio MUTT, an interactive take on the iconography of Ordnance Survey maps, installed on the Langdale Estate, and Charlie Whimney's 'Mountains We Made' - a steam-bent oak depiction of Lake District mountains - introduced next to the Grizedale visitor's centre play area.

The final two installations will arrive in May with Di Mainstone's 'Time Mirror' coming to the Arts & Crafts House in Bowness. The final work is sure to raise eyebrows as a combined performance, virtual reality and photographic experience is brought to life by the Strange Names Collective, who will be introducing the Buried Moon to Ambleside's University of Cumbria campus.

For more information on where you can find each of the Ignite Festival installations when you visit the Lakes, visit