The Panopticons

The Panopticons are a set of four futuristic sculptures set in the rural settings of Blackburn, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale districts of East Lancashire, England. The powers-that-be commissioned the sculptures as gateway pieces and a symbol of the renaissance of the area.

Whatever the reason, the results are some fantastic works of art:

The Atom

Photo: Tony-H [Flickr]

Photo: chillghetti [Flickr]

The Atom, a giant egg-shaped, bronze-coated sculpture designed by Peter Meacock with Katarina Novomestka and Architects WCW. It is located in the Wycoller Country Park in Pendle.


Photo: Ian Lawson

The Panopticon for Blackburn is Colourfields, a collaboration between Jo Rippon Architecture and artist Sophie Smallhorn. The piece, which apparently is some sort of a striped walkway (correct me if I'm wrong, guys), is built on a former cannon battery.

Haslingden Halo

Photo: bitrot [Flickr]

Photo: petehud [Flickr]

The Halo, designed by John Kennedy of LandLab, is a steel lattice structure on a tripod. After dark, it's lit with LEDs to give the sculpture the effect of hovering above the town of Haslingden in Rossendale.

Singing Ringing Tree

Photo: StewieD [Flickr]

Last (and my favorite!) in the series is the Singing Ringing Tree, a musical sculpture overlooking Burnley. The sculpture was designed by MIke Tonkin and Anna Liu, and was made from galvanized steel pipes. When the wind blows, the "tree" sings an eerie tune:

[YouTube Link]

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Surely the plural is "Panoptica"?!

I love the singing-ringing tree, the whistling is haunting but gentle. I saw a guy flying his falcon up there once.

The halo is powered by a tiny wind turbine. I had to rely on the knowledge of a small boy I met for that fact because the information board is invisible in the dark!
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Yes, two people were killed: but that was at the site of one exhibition, and it was seventeen years ago. The word "mounting" denotes a current and ongoing increase, which is inaccurate here.
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2 people met their ends via Christo's "The Umbrellas". One woman got killed by one of the giant umbrellas that blew loose in the wind and whacked her and a worker was also electrocuted when the display was being dismantled and a giant umbrella he was handling touched a too-near power line.

I would say 2 disconnected deaths from a single artist justifies my use of "a mounting death toll" :-P.
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