Eden to bring saunas, singing and shopfront art to Morecambe

Bethany Wells with the Warmth sauna, which will be open near More Music in the West End on Friday November 29 and Saturday November 30 Picture: Lizzie Coombes
Bethany Wells with the Warmth sauna, which will be open near More Music in the West End on Friday November 29 and Saturday November 30 Picture: Lizzie Coombes

A series of thought-provoking art commissions will be unveiled as part of an Eden Project programme of public art in Morecambe.

The three interventions are the first phase of a programme of art, designed to herald the opening of Eden Project North on the Morecambe seafront, planned for 2023.

The projects were selected through an open call process - further opportunities and projects will be announced in spring 2020.

Warmth by Bethany Wells is a wood-fired sauna in a converted horse box, free for the public to use. Each sauna session will be curated with short interventions, working with scent, sound and objects to evoke a specific relationship between the intimate interior and the landscape outside. Salt scrub foot baths will be available for Morecambe Bay-inspired post-sauna paddling.

Outside the sauna there will be a candle-lit Scandinavian-style canvas tent, water and free Swedish biscuits available for pre- and post-sauna conversations.

There will also be a “log pile visitor book”, where people can write messages onto logs, inspired by their time in the sauna, to be burned by the next group in the sauna.

Shop Fronts by Rebecca Burns will see a collective of Morecambe-based artists renovating empty shop fronts in the West End of the town.

Rebecca, a former fashion print designer who grew up in Morecambe and has recently returned to the town, aims to turn the shops into art features until they are ready to be used for retail again.

These Hills Are Ours is a performative project by Daniel Bye and former Chumbawamba guitarist Boff Whalley which will be co-written with volunteers.

The project will see a volunteer choir walking from the proposed site of Eden Project North on the Morecambe seafront to the top of Clougha Pike, taking a route around 14 miles long. They will use public footpaths and off-road tracks, many of which represent historical struggles over land access.

En-route, the choir will sing contemporary choral pieces that have been created through a series of workshops with members of the Morecambe Bay community. The work is being composed now and choir members are being recruited. The performance is due to take place in March next year (2020) and a film of the journey and performance will be made.

Misha Curson, Eden’s senior arts curator, said: “Morecambe Bay is blessed with a community of artists and arts organisations and Eden Project North will invest in this thriving creative culture.

“These three works are the start of what we envisage as an ongoing programme of public art for Morecambe. Art will be a vital part of Eden Project North and we are aiming to bring an inspiring programme to Morecambe in the run up to the project being built.”

Warmth will be in position next to More Music in the West End, in collaboration with the Creative West End Winter Market, on the Friday, November 29 between 5pm and 9pm and Saturday, November 30 between 11am and 9pm. Time-slots are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Visitors should bring swimwear and a towel. Changing facilities and storage for valuables will be available and there are toilets at More Music nearby.

The first volunteer workshops for These Hills Are Ours will take place on December 10 and 12. For more details, email danielbye1980@gmail.com or visit www.danielbye.co.uk. To sign up for the workshop, see https://www.eventbrite.com/e/these-hills-are-ours-do-you-love-clougha-pike-tickets-82983306303.

Shop Fronts will start transforming businesses in Morecambe’s West End this month (November). Artists interested in helping paint the shop fronts can apply to be involved by contacting Rebecca at textilecandy@gmail.com.