Causing a storm in the art world

Lancaster flooding in December 2015
Lancaster flooding in December 2015

Storm Desmond, which wreaked havoc across parts of Lancashire and Cumbria 18 months ago, is to be the focus of a unique university arts project.

Two artists have taken up a contemporary art residency in the aftermath of the storm which caused up to £500m of damage in the North West and left 61,000 properties in Lancaster, Morecambe and Carnforth without power, some for three consecutive nights.

John Dummett and Laura Harrison have been appointed by the University of Cumbria, which has a campus in Lancaster, to spend four months working on the “Immersion/Emergence” project, which has support from the Arts Council England. The pair were selected from a list of 28 applicants to .

“It was a tough decision to make as all those shortlisted would undoubtedly have brought thought-provoking insights and work to a city in reflection on those testing times,” said Roddy Hunter, director of the Institute for the Arts. “The artists we’ve selected will bring very different approaches to the project, which in turn will act to promote artistic practice as important and unique in exploring the world around us.”

The pair will receive bursaries to bring their proposals to fruition and be provided with access to office, studio and exhibition space. The residency will culminate in the exhibition of new work in Carlisle from October to December. The university’s Lancaster campus was badly disrupted by Desmond.