Artist Nikki Pugh has been awarded a Visiting Fellowship to help support a collaboration with Dr Christopher Donaldson (Lecturer in Regional History and Co-Investigator on the Leverhulme Trust-funded Geospatial Innovation in the Digital Humanities: A Deep Mapping of the English Lake District project, Lancaster University).
With additional support from Arts Council England, the Department of History, Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Wordworth Trust, Pugh and Donaldson will be working together to ‘deep map‘ history and memory in the Duddon Valley, where the Geospatial Innovation research group’s work will also support the Wordsworth Trust to explore different ways of increasing public engagement with the works of William and Dorothy Wordsworth.
In addition to featuring in the work of the Wordsworths, the Duddon Valley was home to prehistoric and Roman remains, medieval longhouses, and ancient farming communities. It has a strong industrial past (mills, quarrying and an iron furnace) and nowadays attracts tourists ranging from fell walkers and mountain bikes through to those taking a more leisurely approach to exploring the area.
Their activities will map how different layers and traces overlap and interact to contribute to community identity and sense of place. Donaldson is already working with local groups to research a collection of Victorian and Edwardian photographs of the valley. Pugh will be helping with this and also developing her own site-specific tools and processes for engaging with the stories of the Duddon Valley. Later they’ll be bringing these together in an exhibition at the Wordsworth Museum (Grasmere) with the aim of designing something that will be multisensory and interactive.