Working with Marketing Lancashire and Arts Lancashire partners, we are busy setting out ways in which the cultural and tourism sectors across this large and diverse county might work together to shout about its contemporary arts and culture offer and how culture can contribute to visitor perceptions of the county and drive tourism stays.
There is plenty of appetite and ambition, a strong mix of cultural partners to work with across the county and a hospitality sector that is successful in the delivery of bespoke and boutique visitor experiences – and so the prospects are strong.
Inevitably there is lots of groundwork to be done building partnerships and we will be working in Lancs for the rest of the calendar year, but one early outcome is When the Red Rose. For this new commission by Marketing Lancashire, acclaimed outdoor artist Steve Messam took the historic symbol of the county and, by a twist of language, transformed it into something new and unexpected, a rising tide of the colour red floating fleetingly at locations during Autumn 2016, each one different but connected – just like the Lancashire towns, cities and landscape.
The image here, taken by Steve Messam is from When the Red Rose in Blackpool, which was part of LightPool Festival, the contemporary companion to the Illuminations. LightPool featured a site specific art trail, live outdoor performances, NEON at The Grundy and a peer symposium amongst its many activities – an exciting concept intended to garner new media stories about the town, attract purposeful cultural tourists and add to the overall Illuminations experience for core Blackpool visitors.
When the Red Rose appeared
- in Preston – filling an inconspicuous alleyway to make the ordinary and everyday seem transformed. 23-25 September. Appeared as part of Lancashire Encounter.
- in Blackpool – engulfing a Victorian shelter on the promenade like a giant ship in a bottle, or, at night, a glowing red beacon. 28 Oct – 2 Nov. Appeared as part of the LightPool Festival for LightPool @ Blackpool Illuminations.
- in Lancaster – as an impressive mass of large, bright-red hovering fleetingly over a secret garden and ascending into the night sky. 4-5 November. Storey Gardens, Appeared as part of Light Up Lancaster.
When the Red Rose is funded by Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts.