Month: January 2021

Artistic talent spearheads Covid recovery in the Cotswolds

Image of Kingfisher on branch ©Photo by Louie Fletcher

Image by Louie Fletcher.

Artistic and landscape collaboration announces new public art trail for 2021

The Cotswolds has long been famed for its glorious landscape, stunning architecture and breath-taking views. Now a panel of influential artists have joined forces with the team at the Cotswolds National Landscape, to shine an artistic light on the area.

Cotswolds National Landscape is a not for profit organisation, which works across the Cotswolds area to protect and promote the beautiful landscape. Working with the local creative community, the organisation has developed a unique response to aid recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, with the new Kingfisher Trail, Cotswolds 2021.

The Kingfisher Trail will encourage people to explore an accessible public art trail throughout the Cotswolds. Using two distinct routes inspired by the rivers Severn and Thames, the Kingfisher Trail will offer a unique way for people to connect with nature in 2021. The kingfisher has been chosen based on its reputation as a resilient and adaptable bird – characteristics shared with the communities and businesses the trail seeks to support. In a post-Covid context, the kingfisher is a symbol of hope and positivity for us all.

The trail officially launches in May 2021 and will feature 21 large scale kingfisher sculptures, all creatively interpreted by both established artists and emerging talent. In the run-up to the launch, artists will be showing their works in progress and a series of events are planned to showcase these new works of art before they are sited on the trail, to be visited and viewed at a series of locations across the local area.

All of the members of the trail’s artistic programming panel, comprised of PJ Crook, celebrated painter and sculptor; Andy ‘Dice’ Davies, the founder and director of the internationally acclaimed Cheltenham Paint Festival; Arabella Kizsely from the Little Buckland Gallery; abstract artist Ed Swarez; and illustrator Imogen Harvey-Lewis will each decorate a giant model kingfisher.

The artistic panel have brought together a further 16 artists who will generate an impressive kingfisher line-up, boasting originality and creativity when the trail launches next spring. In the meantime, sponsors and host venues are sought to work with the Kingfisher Trail team to deliver a unique Cotswolds experience for trail visitors.

Twenty of the sculptures are looking for venues where they can perch for the duration of the trail, from May to September 2021, and one special ‘flying kingfisher’ will swoop in and around the region, at a series of handpicked destinations, venues, and events.

To celebrate the conclusion of the trail, the individual kingfishers will be available to buy at auction in October 2021 – in a rare opportunity to snap up the work of all the contributing artists and in turn raise funds for the Cotswolds National Landscape projects.

Painter and sculptor PJ Crook MBE commented:

“I am delighted to have been invited to be on the panel advising the Kingfisher Trail, particularly as Cotswolds National Landscape team has embraced the idea of including a group of students from the National Star College, of which I am an active patron.

The students will make the idea of painting one of the beautiful huge kingfisher sculptures all the more exciting for me too, as I have volunteered to also take part! And I know that the other artists will all be thinking of brilliant ways to make their kingfisher models truly stunning and unique, to showcase the glorious waterways and landscape vistas of our beloved Cotswolds region.”

For more details and to get involved visit – www.kingfishertrail.org

ENDS

Editors Notes – for high resolution imagery and interviews please contact Mel Jones at Encore PR – melanie@encorepr.co.uk


New Year 2021 Lockdown

Following the government’s announcement of a national New Year 2021 lockdown, we highly recommend reading the full guidance on the latest lockdown rules to understand the restrictions. 

The Cotswolds National Landscape is within accessible driving distance for many surrounding towns and cities, but we’d like to remind people that at the moment, it’s very important for everyone who can to stay at home. The new lockdown rules state that we should all minimise the amount of time we spend outside our homes. If you are able to exercise locally to where you live in the Cotswolds, please remember our advice when you are outside:

  1. We must still all observe social distancing guidelines, even outdoors and in the countryside. If a walking path is narrow, wait for others to pass. Be patient.
  2. Respect those who live here.
    Many of our countryside residents and landowners are older and fit into the ‘vulnerable’ category of those at risk from coronavirus. Help protect their health by remembering good hygiene around gates and stiles, being considerate about where you park, and looking out for and adhering to any route diversions (which may be in place to protect those on farms, for example asking walkers not to go through the yard, or not to go past the house etc).
  3. Plan your time. Download self-guided walking routes, and make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the weather, and know when it gets dark.
  4. Remember the Countryside Code. Stick to it. If you don’t know it, learn it here.
  5. Tread carefully. Please be very careful not to disturb wildlife. This might include ground-nesting birds, or wildflowers.
  6. Please use your common sense. Keep dogs on leads and pick up their mess, don’t leave any litter.

Take your time, and breathe – these continue to be strange times, but we can once again take this opportunity to find reassurance in the healing qualities of nature, and to enjoy and appreciate our surroundings more.