An innovative designer who specialises in exhibiting art outdoors has embarked on a community project involving Pendle Hill and bags full of litter.
Higherford man Philippe Handford set himself the task of climbing up and down the famous hill 50 times as a personal challenge, but while doing so became aware of the amount of litter that was apparent on the ground.
He decided that he would start to pick it up - and although he wasn’t sure what to do with it, after each trek he added it to the ever growing pile in his garden shed.
Ranging from tissues to beer cans to bobble hats, Philippe described his collection as a “blot on the landscape” which he was simply helping to remove.
“I obviously felt quite strongly about it. It is a fantastic piece of countryside and a real shame that all this litter was being dumped. I thought I might as well do something useful while going up Pendle Hill after developing a bit of a love affair with it. People stopped and asked what I was doing and at the time I wasn’t really sure.”
In just a few months, and after completion of the 50 walks, he had collected no less than three bin bags worth of colourful leftovers.
Still unsure as to what to do with it he looked to his artistic background - inparticular his unique outdoor furniture business which specialises in eco-friendly furnishings and mesh designs.
He came up with the idea to make a rectangle wire-mesh frame which was approximately 1m. by 0.5m., 250 ml. deep and was made of with two “L” shapes.
“The idea was to create a view piece like a picture frame and incorporate the rubbish within it. It was a good way of documenting all what I had found in quite a novel way. The sculpture itself was very colourful and I didn’t want to hide that fact.
“It made sense to make a frame and it was meant to make you look much harder at the hill through the hollow frame.”
After making the creation Philippe took a circular route around Pendle Hill and took photographs on natural plinths of the frame with Pendle Hill as the focal point.
He added: “I did a full tour of Pendle Hill taking pictures and then have made it in to a small book. I now want to offer an alternative local guide book and I think it creates a perfect treasure hunt book whereby you would have to work out where each shot was taken by look at the hill through a different view.”
Ideally Philippe would like to have his book published and is looking for anyone who would be interested in getting involved and help make it happen.
Since embarking on his litter project he has also become active within Blacko Primary School, encouraging the children to get involved in art while teaching them about the issue of littering.
He added: “I want to keep up this momentum that I think is a worthy campaign and am looking to anyone who could help further the project.”
Philippe will also be exhibiting his sculpture and furniture, Handford Designs, this weekend at Broughton Show. For more information on his work please visit www.handforddesign.co.uk or get in touch on 07528 299179.