The LoudsPEAKer Legacy
LoudsPEAKer is an inspiring and vital exhibition curated by artists Trish and Nick from INSTAR, that connects young people in Sheffield to the dramatic Dark Peak landscape. Read on to discover more about this fascinating project.
Directly inspired by the landscape and habitats of Kinder Scout and the Dark Peak, LoudsPEAKer enabled students, from Outwood Academy City in Sheffield, to achieve deeper connections to the natural world through a range of creative opportunities. This commenced with an inspirational pilgrimage to the top of Kinder Scout, which for all students was their first-time experiencing the wild and elemental beauty of the Dark Peak.
As part of the National Trust People’s Landscapes programme, students worked collaboratively with INSTAR to co-produce a collection of unique designs in response to their experience on Kinder Scout and its habitats. Their creative visions were then embroidered, screen and digitally printed onto one-off fashion items. Working closely with National Trust rangers, students embarked on additional visits to Kinder Scout, modelling their range of items; helping to tell the often unseen story of conservation, maintenance and restoration work which is vital for the future of this very important upland. The project culminated in an exhibition back in November 2019 which was showcased at Bloc Projects gallery in Sheffield.
To discover more about INSTAR's work you can follow them over their social media channels @weareinstar
“For many of the students from Sheffield this was their first time visiting the Peak District, a group of inner-city teenagers coming to climb Kinder Scout… I asked myself, will they be in the slightest bit interested? Will they have the basic kit to get them to the top and back? How on earth do I motivate them? I found that preparation is key, but the most rewarding thing is to just allow people to simply enjoy the landscape the way they as individuals want to. What we as individuals get out of being in the countryside is a very personal thing. We are free to enjoy the countryside whenever we want, it helps us to cope with the fast-paced world we live in today, so it is essential for everyone to have the opportunity to experience and truly connect with the natural world around them. I saw in every single person on those climbs a close connection to the countryside, and if we want future generations to love and enjoy the countryside today, it is absolutely essential that we allow access to land and encourage everyone to nurture, love and protect these incredible and vital habitats, ensuring these landscapes remain forever, for everyone.” - Keith Hawkes, National Trust Ranger.
About LoudsPEAKer activity and process
Over a period of 3 months, Outwood Academy City students were provided with a brief to produce 10 unique designs, these represented their pilgrimage to Kinder Scout, and what they discovered about the social and natural heritage of this important landscape. Students explored the use of language, texture, colour and layout to build their creative response to the landscape. 5 art groups were established, the Ravens, Hares, Stoats, Red Grouse and Curlews. Working in these teams they collaboratively established a creative voice for nature, the environment and Kinder Scout. Equipped with creative resources, museum specimens, imagery together with their direct contact with the landscape, students explored the use of language, textures, colour and layout to evolve their creative voice of Kinder Scout.
The message of LoudsPEAKer
The impact of LoudsPEAKer does not end with the production of these powerful and informative artefacts, which in their own right stand out as symbolic pieces of art. Its greatest moment is the moment they are worn by those who designed them and worn in the very landscape which inspired them.
“It was always the aim of LoudsPEAKer to create a series of contemporary images, each telling their own story. The imagery represents students confident within the landscape, whilst voicing the urgency and importance of protecting and connecting to the natural environment. This was key to the project vision, symbolising a connection vital for everyone, especially young people; the future custodians of Kinder Scout and the broader natural world.” – INSTAR Artists Trish Evans and Nick Humphreys.
The LoudsPEAKer project has been curated by INSTAR for the National Trust People’s Landscapes, in collaboration with students from Outwood Academy City in Sheffield, part of Trust New Art, the National Trust’s programme of contemporary arts. Image concept and direction by INSTAR / Photograph by Timm Cleasby Photography.
With special thanks to our sponsors BREEDON for their support and also to Bloc Projects Gallery in Sheffield.
About Bloc Projects
Established in 2002, Bloc Projects is a not-for-profit creative organisation with educational and charitable aims in the centre of Sheffield. They support artists at key stages in their careers through an acclaimed contemporary exhibitions programme. Their free public programme of talks, heritage projects, workshops and events, titled Salon, supports the creative professional development of the local community, promoting diverse creative career pathways and providing generous opportunities for participatory learning, meaningful arts engagement and skill development. As an organisation they are committed to working with other local art organisations, universities and charities to ensure their educational activities welcome a diverse and intergenerational demographic.