Lancashire Electric
Supporting imitating the dog and The Dukes through our Shifting Ground programme

Lighting up The Storey Gallery with tales of Lancashire’s past.

On 1 and 2 November, the dark nights of autumn in the North of England will be exploded by Light Up Lancaster: a nocturnal festival of sculpture, video, installation and performance that transforms the dark recesses of historic Lancaster into a carnival of colour and light. The festival also sees the launch of Lancashire Electric, a unique new audio-visual work – part experimental theatre, part archive film screening, part immersive gallery experience – that takes over The Storey Gallery from 1-7 November.

Produced in collaboration by imitating the dog and The Dukes, with support from our Shifting Ground programme, Lancashire Electric will present audiences with stories of the region’s past in exciting new ways. Gallery visitors will move through a space occupied by sound, light and video-mapped projections, following a narrative thread on the changing nature of work and play across Lancashire’s vivid, varying landscapes. They will experience stories of agricultural life, declining coastal industries and the region’s seaside holiday destinations – all set to a newly commissioned score from composer James Hamilton.

The project draws on the collections of the North West Film Archive and BFI National Archive, and will showcase a rich breadth of footage made by and for the people of Lancashire. Work from Blackburn-based early film pioneers Mitchell and Kenyon will appear alongside student documentary films and intimate home movies as part of a wide-ranging, elliptical meditation on the connections Lancastrians, past and present, have made with their environment.

A series of talks and workshops runs alongside the main exhibition, providing audiences with opportunities to learn more about the stories featured there and how and why these films were brought together. Susannah Bleakley, Chief Executive of Morecambe Bay Partnership, will discuss the state of seemingly constant change that defines Morecambe Bay; an area of shifting sands, fast-moving tides and ongoing social transformation. A lecture from Sarah Hughes, Research Fellow in Human Geography at Northumbria University, will trace the legacies of sanctuary-seeking in Lancashire and Lancaster’s current role as a City of Sanctuary. And imitating the dog Co-Artistic Director Simon Wainwright will share insights into the production of Lancashire Electric, reflecting on the inspiration behind the work and the practicalities of putting everything together.

Lancashire Electric represents a natural synthesis of imitating the dog and The Dukes’ ambitions for culture in the region, combining a boundary-pushing live experience with a commitment to bringing a greater diversity of film to the communities of Lancaster and Morecambe. It promises to introduce new audiences to the riches of the UK’s public film archives, to present familiar stories in unfamiliar ways, and to allow locals to see their neighbourhood in a new light.

Find out more at Light Up Lancaster

imitating the dog and The Dukes present Lancashire Electric with support from the Shifting Ground Engagement Fund. For more information on the programme, visit the Shifting Ground homepage.

Image: Netting the Tide (North West Film Archive).