Picnic Area Transcript

Duration: (02:10)

Here stands Picnic Area by David Fryer, near by is the chimney of the former Burrs Mill, a remnant of the once thriving cotton mills and later Bleach Works, industries that were a major source of employment, until their closure in the 1930. After years of dereliction visitors can now come to enjoy the country park and the activity centre.

Tony Trehy: (00.28)
Picnic Area was commissioned in 1998. David is a really whimsical and challenging artist who likes to investigate the sort of phalluses and assumptions people will make about different things and to challenge the whole way they think about them.

Presenter: (00.46)
David was inspired by the heritage of his surroundings but not in the way you might expect.

Tony Trehy: (00.52)
David was interested by the fact that most of the other artists who were working on the trail at the time were responding to the heritage of sites. Essentially we’d invited him to the site that is full of heritage but he is always resistant to being pigeon holed in that way so he began to think about the nature of heritage itself, and the fact that the park is a very popular visitor attraction and there is a lot of leisure activities there and sports, canoeing and such like. That he began to question the whole nature of visiting essentially perceived the act of drawing people in as tourists as being a trap and people often talk of tourist traps so he actually decided to make a human size trap which is actually also a picnic area so that the act of being invited to picnic was a trap.

(Sound of a trap closing)

Presenter: (01:44)
As you look at the sculpture you’ll see that the words Picnic Area are actually inscribed on the plate of the trap.

Tony Trehy: (01:52)
The trap bit is at table height. You can sit and have a picnic there.

Presenter: (01:58)
Is the country park a public amenity or a tourist trap? You decide. 

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