With uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus pandemic The Winter Droving 2020 will not be bringing the usual fiery hustle and bustle to the town centre, instead organisers Eden Arts have re-imagined the 2020 event with a number of different public art projects across half term week in October.
Director Adrian Lochhead says in a statement: “it is important that morale is kept as high as possible and that people are still encouraged to see Penrith and Eden as thriving, and we know that the Winter Droving is an important part of that, we have been receiving messages all year from those hoping we would be going ahead.”
The focus this year is on local people – to be featured in one of the highlights – a projected light spectacle taking place in St Andrews Church Yard between 28th – 31st October and on shop windows in town.
Adrian continues: “We want to celebrate local people around the theme of ‘care’ – caring for others, the environment, the town, the District, people who show others respect and go that bit further, and we want to put them into lights!”
As well as the socially distanced and ticketed light installation, a public art gallery will be scattered throughout the town, with shop windows transformed by large scale art works of the Winter Droving audience in their masks and fancy dress. Sainsburys New Squares, the old Co-op Building, long time Droving supporters Townhall Treasures and units in Angel Square have already been signed up to host the displays.
Time is short! Members of the public can now nominate people in the community to feature in the projection display, or submit their photos and creations to the public art exhibition by heading to www.edenarts.co.uk/WD2020.
Adrian concluded: “As we’re sure you can imagine this year has been a wild ride! We are pleased that many of our core funders, including Arts Council England, Cumbria County Council, Eden District Council, Penrith BID & Pride in Penrith Lottery have continued to support the Winter Droving through this time and we can still bring some magic to the town this year. The pressure is now on for our small team to bring the new events to fruition with the same safe and high standards our audience is used to. People can now nominate friends in the community who care – for their area, key workers, people who care for the environment or more to feature in this special piece as a celebration of our town, district and community.”
Darren Broad, Chair of Penrith BID said: “We are really pleased that Winter Droving 2020 can go ahead, albeit in a new format. Penrith BID have supported the Winter Droving over many years and we are proud to be supporting it again this year. Penrith has a great variety of independent shops as well as larger retailers and it is now more important than ever that the high street is vibrant and people visit Penrith and shop in Penrith. It is great that the people of the town are being celebrated through the public art works and that that we won’t lose the magic of Winter Droving this year.”
Eden Arts are working with Cumbrian Young Artist of the Year finalist Zoe Forster and Cumbrian based digital artist Nick Greenall to bring the projection piece to life. Penrith based photographer and filmmaker Richie Johnston will work on bringing together the images for the town centre exhibition which will be in large format prints on windows from mid October.
The organisers are planning all events with the current Government guidance in mind, with careful thought going into managing numbers of audience, and social distancing.
More information will be confirmed soon with events set to take place across 4 days from Wednesday 28th October – Saturday 31st October 2021. More information can be found at www.edenarts.co.uk/WD2020