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Public Art

Philippe Handford, lead artist

Philippe Handford, lead artist

Pendle Sculpture Trail

The Pendle sculpture trail is a fantastic new creative project, bringing art into a rural location.

2012 marks the 400th anniversary since the Lancashire witches trial. Helping to pay homage to the Pendle Witches, four acclaimed artists have provided work on the new sculpture trail in Aitken Wood, near Barley. The trail forms part of a busy programme of events in the Pendle area throughout 2012.

Chief designer and lead artist Philippe Handford, who first conceived the concept for a natural sculpture trail in 2010, has been working closely with Pendle tourism officer, Mike Williams and United Utilities to create a unique sculpture trail. Philippe\\\'s sculpture work is site specific and is inspired by the beautiful Pendle area and natural materials found in the wood. His organic sculptures make use of several, previously felled trees, a wind blown tree, holly bushes and a dry stone wall that runs the full length of the wood. The largest piece to be found on the trail is his ‘Reconnected 2\\\', where two large arches rise up from four tree stumps. The installation, built on site will evoke a sense of perpetual movement and capture the moment when the mighty trees were felled. The holly bushes, known to ancient druids as ‘spirits of the wood\\\', have been contained within metal cages fashioned into human forms provide an eerie presence amongst the trees!

Philippe is currently working on phase 2 of the trail which makes use of demolished sections of dry stone walling that runs the full length of the wood. All his work within the wood is one of harmony with nature and surrounding natural elements. The contemporary sculptures provide a beautiful mix of textures and shapes that sit happily within their environment.

Other artists include Sarah McDade who has designed 10 ceramic plaques representing each of the local people condemned as witches. Each plaque, sited on existing tree stumps, include prints of herbs and plants used in 1612.

Steve Blaylock, has crafted several woodland creatures out of stainless steel. These include bats, an owl and spider on a giant web.

The final artist is master wood carver Martyn Bednarczuk, who has fashioned a life size ‘Witch finder General\\\' out of solid oak .

You can download a trail map with information from the Visit Pendle Site.

Planning a visit

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Contact details

The Car Park, Barley, BB12 9LD

Ph. 07528299179

The site is supported and funded by:

  • Lottery Funded
  • European Regional Development Fund in the Northwest
  • Lancashire and Blackpool's official tourist information site.
  • Lancashire County Council
  • Creativity Works