Seeing Art Festival Is Believing; Art in Galleries, the Great Outdoors and Even Underground Is the Promise of C-Art Festival, as DAVID WHETSTONE Explains

The Journal (Newcastle, England), September 6, 2017 | Go to article overview

Seeing Art Festival Is Believing; Art in Galleries, the Great Outdoors and Even Underground Is the Promise of C-Art Festival, as DAVID WHETSTONE Explains


Byline: DAVID WHETSTONE

ART lovers will be flocking to Cumbria in the coming days for the county's award-winning C-Art Festival of contemporary arts. And in case you were wondering, C-Art is 'See Art' rather than something pulled by horses...

Nobody should really need an excuse to visit Cumbria, the county with the Lake District at its heart, but this is a good one.

It's a 10-day feast of sights and performances which, since its inception six years ago, has connected some 185,000 visitors to Cumbrian artists.

It has also resulted in sales of Cumbrian art in excess of PS665,000. But it's not all about buying and selling. For the visitor, C-Art holds the promise of thrills and exploration.

Captain Boomer is a Belgian art collective which has delivered plenty of thrills in recent years.

Illusionists as much as artists, they have displayed a very realistic beached sperm whale on city river banks - including those of the Thames and the Seine in Paris - and taken small audiences underground.

It's clever stuff as you will see if you head for the Rheged Discovery Centre, Penrith, where the collective's latest creation is to be a C-Art attraction. The idea is that geologists have discovered a huge underground lake, Lowthermere. If this is the case, then surely there are grounds for Penrith to be designated as part of the Lake District? "Part of our plan is to grow tourism and this will be just amazing," said Kevin Beatty, leader of Eden District Council.

"To think that there is a lake underneath Penrith and Rheged! It will just add so much to the economy. It's really exciting."

Whether it's a lake or just an art installation, tourism should get a boost. Those Belgian artists can really make you believe.

Tickets for Lowthermere, accessed via a flight of steps, cost PS4 each and you can book a time slot at Rheged via www.rheged.com.

You can also book for Beastie, the latest heart-warming project from Gregg Whelan and Gary Winters, artists who perform as Lone Twin.

Beastie is "a creation conjured from the imaginings of children" with echoes of The Gruffalo and Maurice Sendak's book, Where The Wild Things Are. …

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