When I read that the Royal Flying Corps' new pilots, often in their teens, lasted on average just 11 days from arrival on the front to death, I thought of the Cumbrian landscape dreaming of its missing airmen, realising they would never return...Geraldine Pilgrim
Since the Wright brothers first took to the air in 1903, our understanding of our place in the world has changed beyond comprehension. The ability to sail through the skies has radically altered every aspect of our lives, from the practicalities of industry and war to our intangible dreams and desires. In short, flight has transformed us. With Lake District National Park, we saluted this transformation with a multi-layered performance and installation created by artist Geraldine Pilgrim.
Flight captured the beauty, power and drama of flight in all its forms, paying particular tribute to its setting in Cumbria, a region rich in aviation history. At the heart of Flight are the young airmen of the First World War and the people they left behind. They looked up at the sky waiting for their loved ones to return, like migrating birds coming home – only to wait and wait as so many never came back.
Flight began with a series of site-specific performance journeys over four days featuring local volunteer performers. After the opening weekend, the work continued in the form of an innovative installation trail through the historic house and grounds of Brockhole, set in the heart of the Cumbrian Lake District.
Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Lake District National Park, part of Lakes Alive Festival
Supported by South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria County Council