Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Pens and Pixels merge for new exhibition

Children enjoying 'Pen, Paint and Pixels: Touring the English Lakes across 250 years' at Dove Cottage recently
A unique art exhibition offering a world first use merging art and photography with smartphone technology will enable visitors to the Lake District to take full advantage of the amazing lakes and mountains landscape this autumn and winter.

Pen, Paint and Pixels: Touring the English Lakes across 250 years, at Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere, allows visitors to travel between the past and the present, while tapping into their inner creativity. Taking up its challenge and follow in the footsteps of a very early travel writer, an artist and a digital photographer, it encourages visitors to take the inspiration gained at the exhibition out into the landscape with the help of OS map co-ordinates and a free smartphone app created by Norfolk-based Pocket Palaces.

Brathay Bridge by Thomas Farington
Autumn and winter present some of the best opportunities to explore the stunning Lake District thanks to the russet colours of the fells and the greater visibility of the lakes through the leafless trees. This makes the ‘Pen, Paint and Pixels’ experience even richer.

The exhibition features 28 Lakes locations at which travel journal entries, followed by paintings and finally by digital photography, were created by eighteenth century artist Thomas Gray, such as his painting of Brathay Bridge, above, and Joseph Farington - and modern day photographer John Murray.

The exhibition features all three media, showing the same locations over 250 years and providing interesting insights. Using OS map coordinates available in a free brochure or the app’s GPS technology, exhibition visitors can absorb the views in the exhibition’s full-size paintings, then head to as many locations as they wish, to take their own pictures, sketch, or maybe even write about the same Lakes beauty spot.

Hints are provided by the free, interactive app, but also by John Murray’s book A Tour of the English Lakes, which non-smartphone owners can buy at the Wordsworth Shop next to Dove Cottage or online a www.wordsworth.org.uk/shop/pen-paint-and-pixels.

Anyone who feels Murray has not got the position from which to take a photo quite right can explore the locality and find a better place. They can then check their version against those printed in the book, or provided by the smartphone app.

Using an app in this way is a world first for an exhibition. It allows visitors to interact with the landscape in a totally unique way, but also guides them to some of the Lake District’s most beautiful locations, which they might otherwise never find.

The best starting point for this journey is the Grasmere-based exhibition itself. Admission is £7.50 for an adult, £4.50 for a child and £17.20 for a family. Murray’s book costs £14.99 as a softback and £25 hardback. Entrance includes a tour of Wordsworth’s former home, Dove Cottage, as well as exhibition admission.

The exhibition, Dove Cottage, the Wordsworth Museum and Art Gallery are open daily from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm (last admission 5 pm). The Jerwood Centre is open by appointment to all with a research interest.

• More information can be found at www.wordsworth.org.uk. The free app – A Tour of the English Lakes - can be downloaded at the Apple App Store or from GooglePlay for android. ‘Pen, Paint and Pixels’ runs to January 6, 2013


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