The Lookout Transcript

Audio Transcription
Lookout by Tim Norris
Duration: 02:53

This is ‘Lookout’ by Tim Norris. The park with its rich industrial heritage is now a haven for wildlife, a mix which inspired him.

Artist (00:11)
Clifton Country Park particularly is this mix of nature and industry and the two seem to effect the other and nature has sort of reclaimed bits of the industrial heritage and so there is a lovely mixture of the two so that was probably my biggest influence.

I think it was Stuart Brindley the famous engineer at the time who developed a very clever system to do with colouring and pumping water and using the water of the Irwell to actually pump the water out. As you walk around the park you will see lots of old relics of it’s industrial past.

The lake in particular was created in the 1970s for mineral extractions, I think it was the M62 motorway and so I like the idea that this was now what started out, as an industrial practice has now become this haven for nature and wildlife.

Narrator (01:00)
Tim worked with the local community to develop his ideas.

Artist (01:04)
I had a small base at Clifton Country Park. I had a studio in Islington Mill in the studio engine house there which was fantastic so I spent quite a while up here making drawing, little models, talking to people, running workshops and the project developed out of that.

I had a lot of very positive responses and a lot of help from local people not just in terms of stories but physically helping build the piece of work.

Narrator (01:29)
The title ‘Lookout’ is influenced by the specific location of the sculpture.

Artist (01:34)
‘Lookout’ is about people coming down and taking in what’s around them, a place to maybe sit and think, take in the surroundings. So I particularly like that spot and I like looking out from that spot and I sat making drawings so I thought that would be an ideal place for the sculpture.

Narrator (01:52)
It’s form and materials reflect the now mixed heritage of the park.

Artist (01:56)
I guess I was thinking this sort of seed natural form but also the reason why I’ve got the breaks in it is partly to echo some of the industrial remnants that you can see around the site, which are not fully complete anymore. There are bits broken up and separated from each other.

It’s made from oak, it was actually made from railway sleepers rather than cut especially which I quite like, again the industrial connotations to that. We’ve used a local grit stone on the outside and then English oak sleepers to produce the walls. Hopefully all the materials in it have a resonance with the area and mean something. For example the stone we’ve used is as close as possible to the actual minerals that were extracted from the lake itself. In a way the industrious is having an effect back on nature again and maybe my piece is bits of the motorway crawling back into the lake.

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