CitizenCairn

Put Cumbrian Art on the Map

This summer, BBC Radio Cumbria and Up for Arts are celebrating our cairns and using them as a beacon for the arts by starting a cairn-building party in our villages and towns, echoing those fell-top cairns with crafted cairns below.

Event details

The party begins in Voluntary Arts Week at Grizedale Forest with CitizenCairn, a collective cairn created by you.

Come paint your stone and add it to a permanent cairn for the sculpture forest built with the Dry Stone Walling Association logo Cumbria Dry Stone Walling Association and Andrew Mason of Kirkby Lonsdale, one of the UK's top stone wallers.

Cairns rock

Cairns are iconic of Cumbria's world-famous landscape, standing as beacons in our wild places, marking-out summits and paths.

Exhausted, we reach our destination and pose by these welcome piles. Many are ancient, marking bronze age fields and burials. Others are waymarkers, built by those who once added a stone when passing, a collective act that's kept them on the landscape as a constant, silent, guide.

Responsible Fishing Responsible Fishing

Arts duo Responsible Fishing UK will also be inviting people to balance stones, cones, sticks and more to create their own forest of mini-cairns. This pair from Sheffield were last seen at Kendal street art festival Mintfest, leading a crowd of happy-stackers losing hours to the meditative sport of balancing things.

Pictures courtesy of Responsible Fishing

Responsible Fishing Matrix Circus

There'll be a physical challenge to balance on each other to create a human cairn with help from Ulverston's Matrix Circus. Matrix Circus is a community-focused contemporary circus which runs hoop dance, poi spinning and family circus days in Cumbria.

Responsible Fishing Let's make crafted cairns

BBC Radio Cumbria will be broadcasting from the event and with Voluntary Arts, laying down the project gauntlet to you, to see what artistic stacks you can create where you live.

...the possibilities embrace all arts and crafts.

Show us what you make and create a buzz about Cumbria, posting pictures of your temporary creations on Facebook or Twitter #CitizenCairn.

Before Christmas we'll look back at a year of cairn-spiration and award the CairnGongs for the most exciting creations - creations that will remind the world of Cumbria's inspirational landscape and creativity.

Get some Cairn-spiration on Pinterest

Responsible Cairning (PDF) Make it temporary, make it safe, don't put it up a mountain and confuse the navigational message of ones that are there...

Follow the Up for Arts board on Pinterest.

Great Cairns of Cumbria

BBC Radio Cumbria goes up, up and up some more to discover the origins of our oldest cairns.
On air from April 22nd.

Contributing to CitizenCairn on May 10

You can paint your stone on the theme of 'something you love about Cumbria' on the day or come with your rock-art pre-prepared.

Acrylics on a rock not a pebble about 3" deep and up to 9" wide (and take care, the BBC/Voluntary Arts cannot be liable for any injuries, toe-related or otherwise!).

Paint one, paint many, the choice is yours. It's transitory landscape art, but you will have played your part in creating a permanent sculpture for the forest.

You can also record the story behind your chosen image on treasuresofcumbria.org.uk from the Cumbria Museum Consortium. A treasure can be anything that is meaningful to you - a place, a story, a song or a personal memory.