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Working environment and tourist gaze: observations of the everyday in the English Lake District.

William Wordsworth’s first sighting of Grasmere vale in the English Lake District, his home for many years, was from Red Bank - an established viewpoint from where landscape could best be appreciated by the Lake District’s earliest visitors, tourists of the picturesque. Over 200 years later, the Lake District's familiarity as image, given rise to through picturesque ideals, has evolved into a brand. In a valley visitors are drawn to for its revered and familiar rural landscape, yet where 40% of its residential properties are second or holiday homes, Grasmere has a complicated relationship with tourism, and a difficult balance to sustain.

Taking the Red Bank viewpoint as a master image, this film aims to look beyond the scene to invoke landscape through interwoven lines of everyday narratives. Observed everyday activities, shot over the course of a year, evoke both residents’ and tourists’ perspectives – marking lambs before turning them onto the fell; a coach party in a gift shop; hill walking on Helvellyn; lessons in the local school. These narrative lines are interwoven by means of a loose symphonic structure approximating four themes, counterpointing the tensions provoked by a landscape created by farming and a present day economy sustained by tourism, and thinking about the landscape as a place of experiences, while remaining in dialogue with its views.

Film Credits

Directors: Jenny Holt


UK Classification: None

Subtitles: No

Voiceover: No



Length: 25 min

Colour: Yes

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Not giddy yet aerial Screening:

  • Mon28May

    at Roundhouse

    28 May 2012 5:30 pm

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