A swarm of spiders “invading” the Lakes


A swarm of very unusual creatures is settling in the grounds of Rydal Hall near Ambleside. SWARM is the name of a community art project in which fantasy insects, spiders, caterpillars and other creatures will gather at the base of a large tree.


Organised by the community art group Lakes Collective, with contributions from local school children, the project is part of Rydal Hall’s sculpture trail – and anyone can join in. “Artists from the Lakes Collective are making some larger, feature pieces which everyone else’s contributions will be sited around, as though swarming, said organiser Clare Humphry.  “We want as many people and groups to join in as possible, and all contributions will be warmly welcomed.”


She added: “Lots of creatures have arrived and the SWARM increases daily. Coniston School will be adding theirs on Sunday.It is creating huge levels of interest – there always seems to be several people standing in front of it pointing and photographing.  People seem to be enjoying the fact that it is inclusive and anyone is allowed to join in.  Visiting kids were loving it over the bank holiday.

“We are hoping to keep the ball rolling and encourage  more people to put something into the SWARM.”

At the end of the installation period, participants can come and retrieve their creations or negotiate with the ground staff for their sculpture to be re-sited permanently in the Rydal Hall Sculpture Trail.


“At this point, a notice will go up to invite anyone passing through the Rydal Hall estates to take a creature from the Swarm as a memento of their visit to the Lakes.  In this way the installation will gradually dismantle itself,” said Clare. A basic outline of the installation is now in place at the base of the large branching tree opposite the Quiet Garden in the grounds of the Hall. Everyone else can add their contributions until 7th June. The following day a notice will go up inviting passers-by to take a creature from Swarm with them. Lakes Collective is a group of 30 artists and designer makers who live in and around the English Lake District. Rydal Hall, with its 34 acres of gardens and woodland and built by the Le Fleming family,  is a Christian conference, holiday and retreat centre.


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