State of the ART website

Silvas Capitalis


The largest open air art and architecture gallery in the country has been brought to life with an interactive new website.

Pictures show: Silvas Capitalis, Janus Chairs and Freya′s Cabin.

For the first time the Kielder Art & Architecture Programme in Northumberland has its own dedicated website, created by Newcastle based Sumo Design, to inspire art lovers across the globe.

Peter Sharpe, curator for the programme in Kielder Water & Forest Park said: "Kielder′s reputation and award-winning body of work is not only of interest to the general public but also a specialised arts audience both nationally and internationally. This dedicated new website enables greater access for all and really showcases the full scope of the programme′s success".

Elisabeth Rowark, director of Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, added: "As a major tourist destination, advance information is crucial for attracting visitors and engaging our audience. We are really focussed on maximising the potential of modern digital platforms, such as the new website, to encourage dialogue, comment and audience response to be shared as widely as possible."

Award winning highlights of the art programme include Charles Barclays′ Kielder Observatory, James Turrell′s Kielder Skyspace and SIMPARCH′s Silvas Capitalis (the giant forest head).

The new website, funded by Arts Council England, looks set to increase visitor awareness and engagement with Kielder′s visual arts projects and provide in-depth information for those wishing to remotely access the projects for research or educational purposes.

Features include detailed insights into each artwork and the commissioning process, maps, downloadable trail guides, video content and an interactive space where visitors can add their own comments and images, find out about events, news and updates, and generate discussion and participation.

Jim Richardson, managing director at Sumo Design, said: "The artworks at Kielder are stunning so we simply wanted to let them speak for themselves. We used breathtaking, large images that inspire visitors to download a trail, explore this beautiful place and discover these intriguing creations".

A general visitor information website,, and the Kielder Water & Forest Park Facebook page, also provide pre-visit information online.

The art and architecture programme at KW&FP has been running for more than fifteen years. There are now over 20 pieces to see, set in an area of 16 square miles, making the Park the largest outdoor public art gallery in the UK.

Recent commissions have won a number of national architectural awards including the Stephen Lawrence Prize, four RIBA Awards, two Civic Trust Awards, a Wood Award and the Northern Culture Award for ′Best Use of Public Open Space′.

Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust has had a working and financial partnership with Arts Council England for over a decade. During the last year, Arts Council has undertaken a review of its funding streams and as a result, the Trust has adopted a more proactive fundraising strategy. Funding from Arts Council is helping with the transitional period.

KWFPDT is currently working with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to approve funding for a new architecture project starting this year at Kielder in association with Newcastle University and University College London. The Trust will also continue to fundraise for additional art and architecture projects from other private sources.

Kielder Water & Forest Park, which spans 250 square miles, is home to the largest forest in England and the largest man-made lake in northern Europe. It was voted the most tranquil place in England by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. For more information go to

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For more information contact Philippa Clark, communications advisor (Kielder Water & Forest Park), on 0191 301 5538, 07970 897 756 or

Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust is a registered charity working to develop the Park as an inspirational place for leisure, exploration and fun.

Members, who have appointed directors/trustees to serve on the board, are Northumbrian Water, Forestry Commission, Calvert Trust Kielder and Northumberland County Council. Affiliate organisations that are not members but have a close working relationship with KWFPDT include Arts Council England, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, The Scout Association and local decision making bodies such as the parish councils.

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