FACT & The Mersey Forest Create New Art Project

Mayor and Mayoress of Wirral Cllr Dave Mitchell & Sue Mitchell with artist Sophie Mellor and members of the public on one of the walks

A new project commissioned by FACT and The Mersey Forest is encouraging people throughout the North West to explore the forgotten woodlands of Bidston Moss.

Zone is an innovative performance and film by the highly renowned international artists, Close and Remote, and is inspired by the Russian film, Stalker and 1971 science fiction novel Roadside Picnic.

The unique creative project, which will run between now until the end of June, is set to capture the attention of the public through a series of digital storytelling, art installations and community events.

The project begins with a sequence of four walks led by the artists Close and Remote to and around the ‘Zone’ based in the Wirral woodland. As part of the theme, attendees will be taking part in a film and recording, which will later be used to create a story.

Simon Poulter from Close and Remote said: “Bidston Moss has had an extremely varied history, dating right back to 1847. Part of the reserve was used for grazing up until the 1970s. At one point, the site fell into disrepair; it was used by flytippers and was a hotspot for anti-social behaviour. However, since then it has been developed into a nature reserve by a number of partners, and was declared a Site of Specific Biological Importance. Between 2006 and 2008 Forestry Commission continued to develop the site by planting new woodland.

“While Bidston Moss is underused at the moment, there is an enormous amount of civic pride for the area and we want to build on that. Essentially, this project is about encouraging people to engage with Bidston Moss nature reserve, while being given the opportunity to take part in making a film and being part of a film set.

Ben Greenaway, Green Streets Coordinator at The Mersey Forest, said: “This project is about helping local residents to explore a recreational green space which is right on their doorsteps. It ties in with our work around Birkenhead in connecting green spaces through street-tree planting, and encouraging people to walk and cycle more.”

In addition to the public tours, the digital art content of Zone will be published on the artists’ website, displayed through social media channels and represented in FACT’s current exhibition Science Fiction: New Death which is open until 22 June.

Visitors to FACT will be invited to explore the ‘episodic’ unfolding of the work through the sound and video presented, and to visit the Zone themselves and record their thoughts on Trip Advisor. The work will evolve to encompass video and sound from each visit over the course of the exhibition and will subsequently be shown in Bidston.

FACT’s Director Mike Stubbs said: “We are very excited to be working alongside The Mersey Forest to encourage local residents to explore and enjoy the woodland at Bidston Moss and participate in the creation of an exciting and engaging new artwork.”


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