08 August 2013
University’s unique performances for public project
A marathon run through a museum, a serving of traditional Victorian jellies and a children’s storytelling spectacular are just some of the events run by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) for an innovative project at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery.
A new commission by In Certain Places, a programme of temporary public artworks and events in Preston, will place a dramatic temporary staircase known as the Harris Flights at the foot of the Grade 1 listed building.
The four week project begins on the 17 August and the Harris Flights will allow people to walk directly into the Harris Museum & Art Gallery from the Flag Market through a new front door, temporarily replacing the balcony and allowing visitors to walk directly into the heart of the building up the steps.
The University will hold 17 events centred around the temporary structure alongside other live performances, art installations, workshops and talks over the four week period.
“The Harris Flights project is an opportunity for me to merge the culture of Fell Running with the exploration of the physical space of the Museum & Art Gallery.”
William Titley, a Fine Art lecturer from UCLan, is hoping to capture the imagination of passers-by as he runs a marathon up and down the temporary staircase and around the museum on the 13 September.
The artist will run at a slow speed, taking time to chat to visitors along the way, and is aiming to complete his 26 mile challenge in five to six hours. Prior to the event William will complete several fell races as part of his training.
He said: “My work often involves the merging of art and everyday life events, particularly local cultures. The Harris Flights project is an opportunity for me to merge the culture of Fell Running with the exploration of the physical space of the Museum & Art Gallery.
“It will be a real test of my own physical and mental endurance while at the same time representing the space in another way. My route will trace the many stairways and galleries within the building and also include the new temporary flights outside in the public square.”
“There has often been debate locally about the navigation of the building, where the entrance is and whether the original design was to include steps.”
The following day Harris museum staff will parade traditional Victorian jellies on serving dishes down the steps for the audience to taste.
Other highlights from UCLan include setting 40 tables with board games and tea on the flag market, a one-day storytelling event with well-known children’s authors and a performance from the Worldwise samba drummers and other musicians who will form a procession through the space.
University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Professor Charles Quick, co-curator of In Certain Places, added: “There has often been debate locally about the navigation of the building, where the entrance is and whether the original design was to include steps. This is coupled with a desire to have access to the balcony, and to share the opportunity to see Preston from the viewpoint of the privileged few.”