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New Ideas April 7, 2008

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It’s day one of the main project selection panel, and it’s a fascinating process. After over five years working on the project, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we see the same ideas returning from different artists. But with so much potential out there in our vast and varied landscapes and communities, there really shouldn’t be any limits to what artists come up with to play with it. In fact, FRED is not even a new idea – people have been proposing outre schemes and projects for decades. I recently found this list on the Armitt Museum website. It’s from a letter published in the local paper in 1880, proving that artistic anarchy in our rural corner is something of a tradition afterall:

Improvements for Lakeland: The following improvements capable of enhancing the beauty of Lakeland have been suggested by an eminent promoter of the Thirlmere Water Scheme:
1. That the Bowder stone should be broken up to pave High Street: a similar use being made of the Kirkstone, in case material should run short.
2. That Brother’s Water should be drained and an asphalt Skating Rink be erected in its place.
3. That Loughrigg should be adorned by a statue of Bodgers, the late eminent philanthropist.
4. That a People’s Coffee-house be erected on Helvellyn.
5. That Scawfell should be made easily ascendable by means of a hydraulic lift.
6. That a merry-go-round, with fife and drum band, be placed within a convenient distance of Rydal Mount.

It’s about process December 17, 2007

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Where would Blogs be without YouTube? Short, instant-hit videos which speak volumes. Someone said to me last week that Land Art was all about making something for people to photograph – creating a memory. Temporary or transient installations need that documentation if only as proof of existence. For pieces which go beyond the surface visual / audio experience, YouTube is a great place to store and catalogue this stuff.

Making the News October 1, 2007

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media frenzy at Weather Cube

It’s not taken long for FRED to make its own news. Today the media wereout in force at Gareth Kennedy’s Weather Cube on Ullswater (above). I guess half-naked people using it helped. And that’s not the only one making a splash (see what i did there?). Jenni Danson has got people all hot and bothered in Carlisle with her tea-cosy, while some locals in Ulverston got a bit shocked at some electric lights (there, done it again).

The view from on high August 27, 2007

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google earth crop circle

Google maps have many uses. We’re having fun with them on the FRED site at the moment. While building these I found a public map of all the crop circles visible on the satellite images. We’ve yet to have real crop circles in FRED, but they really are a  prime example of the kind of work you can do in the rural-only world. The crop circle map  is World-wide also proving that some people have far too much spare time on their hands…

Big Horses September 16, 2006

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FRED this year features, among many others, a new hill drawing. Wiltshire is famed for its chalk horses on the downs, and many of them can be seen for miles away. Despite their iconic presence, most of the hill drawings in the UK are less than 100 years old. The art of drawing things big on the hills is not a lost art-form. The differences between Wiltshire and the outer reaches of the dales, however, is one of sheer scale. A 20 metre horse on lush green rolling hills in the lowlands of the south of England, will be no more than a spec on our vast wilderness.

But we’re not alone in our attempt to make a mark on a bigger landscape. Painted in whitewash on a mountainside north west of the border city of Ciudad Juarez by local architect Hector García Acosta and his son Carlos, it is a huge reproduction of the Uffington horse (original in Wiltshire). This horse is over half a mile long, and took three years to complete. García Acosta said that he created the figure both as a problem-solving exercise and to draw the attention of passing townsfolk to the beauty of the mountains. Sounds familiar?

giant white horse

by any other name August 15, 2006

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Trawling through the archives on my iPhoto, I found this image:

FRED, Tours, France

Go on, I know it’s vain, but there is something innately irresistible about Googling your own name. Google recons there are nearly 1 million images of FRED. Certainly, it’s an international phenomenon:

FRED is variously a bus company in Virginia, a text editor, a financial markets indices, a red light on the end of trains (Flashing Rear End Device), a Swiss army knife thing in Australia (Field ration Eating Device) or (my favourite) a F***ing Ridiculous Electronic Device (anyone still using Apple Newton?).

Famous FREDs include Astaire, Dibnah, Jones (that’s as in Scooby Doo), Weasley (Harry Potter) and Flintstone. Not to mention, honorary FREDs Tennyson and Hitchcock.

FRED comes in at number 71 in the top 100 boys names in the UK and USA. 0.25 % of Americans are called FRED. Coincidently, FRED comes in at number 3101 for girls’ names. Whilst FRED as a name is in decline in English speaking countries, its popularity remains constant in Sweden.

Isn’t Googling anal?

The Fun Starts Here… August 11, 2006

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It’s official. We finally got confirmation of the last piece of funding to make FRED happen today. Adele Prince is on the case for the branding of FRED this year and our lovely PR guy is getting on with the first official press release.It’s all too exciting…

Hello world! August 10, 2006

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Welcome to FREDs blog 2006. We’re back, alive and kicking. Keep upto date with progress on FRED 2006 here.