Local artists win bid to raise awareness of the River Dearne
24 August 2017
The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP) has commissioned three artists and an artist partnership to create a series of artworks in response to the landscape as part of their ‘Art of the Dearne’ project.
The artists’ work aims to raise awareness of the River Dearne and will commence in August. The work is due for completion in December.
The successful artists have either all lived in, or have a connection to the Dearne Valley. They are sculptor Daniel Jones; artist, designer and curator Patrick Murphy; artist Louise Wright; and an artist partnership which consists of Hayley Youell, James Lockey and Andy Seward.
A series of public art engagement workshops related to each commission will also take place across the Dearne Valley from September, providing artistic experiences for local people to influence the final pieces.
Richard King, landscape partnership development manager at the DVLP, said: “We were thrilled to receive such a fantastic response from artists across the Dearne Valley and the surrounding area.
“We feel these artists will present some really exciting opportunities to engage in creative ways with all sections of the community over the coming months. Our overall aim is to collect and tell the stories of the place and the people; and to produce work inspired by the landscapes and heritage of the Dearne Valley. We’re therefore really excited to be focusing on the River Dearne itself for this project.
“The DVLP is also currently delivering a project to improve the connectivity of the river for fish, by introducing schemes to overcome existing barriers to fish migration. Building on this wide-reaching environmental improvement, Art of the Dearne creates the opportunity for communities in the Dearne Valley to reconnect with the river in new and exciting ways.”
The River Dearne is physically at the heart of the Dearne Valley, with its origins in the Pennines, running through to the North Sea via the Rivers Don, Ouse and Humber. Since the late 1700s, the river has been of economic, historical and social importance.
The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership is a five-year scheme, running until June 2019. The partnership focuses on the historic buildings and landscapes of the Dearne Valley, working with the local communities to protect, preserve and enhance the area. The DVLP is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Updates on the progress of each commission and details of the workshops can be found on the DVLP website: www.discoverdearne.org.uk
Notes to editor
Image shows the successful artists, from left to right: Hayley Youell, Daniel Jones, Patrick Murphy and Louise Wright
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The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership
The lead partner of the The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership is Barnsley Council with a partnership that includes Rotherham and Doncaster Councils, the RSPB, Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Garganey Trust and Groundwork South Yorkshire. The DVLP is part of Barnsley Museums & Heritage Services and is based at Elsecar Heritage Centre. www.discoverdearne.org.uk
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery @HLFYandH
The River Dearne
In the late 1700s the river held a good population of fish, however at the height of industry the river became polluted and undervalued. It became an outlet for both domestic and industrial waste and by the 1900s sections had become lifeless, with fish being unable to survive in the cocktail of chemicals. The river continued to exist in this polluted state well into the 20th century.
It has taken decades for the water quality to improve but in recent years, wildlife has returned, supported by a series of re-stocking and improvement initiatives. Large-scale flood alleviation works have also linked the river to newly created wetland sites, which are becoming havens for wildlife. The DVLP is also currently delivering a project to improve the connectivity of the river for fish, by introducing schemes to overcome existing barriers to fish migration. Building on this wide reaching environmental improvement, there is also now the opportunity for communities in the Dearne Valley to reconnect with the river.