Heartland – Art project in the Shropshire Hills launches 8 April

In 2017 three artists will open people’s eyes to new ways of seeing and understanding the fragile Shropshire Hills landscape. An exciting programme of visual, musical and performance-based art will invite everyone to explore the history, the stories and the future of this beautiful rugged upland area.

Tony Plant is a site specific artist whose multi-disciplinary works are exhibited and recognised globally. Over the course of the Heartland project he will work closely with the National Trust’s ranger team to create a series of small and large scale, temporary interventions within the Shropshire Hills, lasting from a matter of hours to a season to many decades.

Mary Keith is a composer, music and choir director. She has worked with community singing groups in Shropshire and beyond, on projects responding to local events and places. Mary will create unique new choral music that is both inspired by the Shropshire Hills and created in situ. She will take groups of singers into the landscape to explore through their voices the acoustics, spaces, myths and physical properties of the geological features.

Stan’s Cafe is a highly acclaimed theatre company based in the West Midlands that has spent more than 25 years playfully exploring new theatrical ideas and sharing them with audiences around the world. Inspired by the Shropshire Hills they are developing a new performance, set in the distant future, called The Camp, which will help us imagine what it may have been like to inhabit this land in the Iron Age.

Swantje Staar, Visitor Experience Manager for the National Trust at Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd, says: “This is a wonderful opportunity to experience the Shropshire Hills in an entirely new way and understand what part we humans can play in caring for this beautiful, but fragile landscape. And best of all: All activities will be free of charge!”

To get a flavour of the exciting Heartland arts programme that will be held this year between April and October the artists and project partners are inviting to a launch and information day Sat 8 April, 11am-3pm at Carding Mill Valley. The event will include a performance by Mary Keith and her choir and visitors will have the opportunity to book one or more of the many Heartland arts activities.

Heartland is a partnership project between the National Trust, Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership, Stiperstones & Corndon Hill Country Landscape Partnership Scheme, Arts Alive and Ben Osborne Photography.

For more information, visit www.heartlandshropshirehills.wordpress.com