The grounds of Basildon Park, a National Trust Palladian-style country house in Lower Basildon near Reading, are the setting for Wayfaring, a free outdoor installation and performance created by artists Mandy Dike and Ben Rigby, who work together as And Now:
Wayfaring is an artistic journey of exploration, inspired by the landscape and ancient routes of the Icknield Way, a pre-Roman pathway running from north Norfolk to the Dorset coast. Basildon Park, where the North Wessex Downs meets the Chilterns, sits on the edge of the route.
Usually visitors pay to enter Basildon Park’s beautiful parklands - but on 18, 19 and 20 July between 10am to 5pm they can go in for free. Once in the park, they can journey through - and contribute to - an artwork being crafted from local and found materials by Mandy, Ben and their team and a group of local volunteers. Local school children will also be getting involved in the making of Wayfaring.
On the evening of Saturday 21 July from 7pm, fire, pyrotechnics, live music and performance will transform the installation in a rousing celebration. The audience will play an active part in Wayfaring - walking, looking, listening, maybe even singing.
The North Wessex Downs is an active partner of Wayfaring. Wayfaring is a major arts council project and the second of three national (free to attend) events, at Basildon Park, a National Trust property, near Pangbourne, 18-21 July.
The Wayfaring event at Basildon Park is inspired by the chalk landscape and ancient routes of the Icknield Way, a Neolithic corridor of braided routes, that is thought to be the oldest in the country, running from coast of North Norfolk to the Dorset coast. Basildon Park, where the North Wessex Downs meets the Chilterns, sits on the edge of the route as well as in the North Wessex Downs AONB.
As part of the Wayfaring project at Basildon Park, the North Wessex Downs are looking to connect with communities/groups that are particularly interested in walking and walking for health, and invite them to visit Basildon Park (for free) and the Wayfaring art installation and enjoy and experience the landscape within the North Wessex Downs.
There are two possibly opportunities we could offer Berkshire Ramblers interested in exploring the Wayfaring project and Basildon Park. Please see below. Each group will need to contact me if they are interested in coming along, especially for the specifically arranged group activities as detailed below. Please note entrance to Basildon Park on these days are free.
- Friday 20 July – visit and walk through the Basildon Park estate and visit the creation of the art installation. The art installation at Basildon Park is open from 10-4pm, however there is extra activities groups (which need to be pre-booked with me):
- 11am - a guided tour of the parklands (approx..2 hours but there are plenty of places people can peel off if they wish)
- Guided tour of the mansion
- A welcome from the North Wessex Downs AONB explaining about the arts project and the notion of the Icknield way, which the project is inspired by and art installation as well as the importance of chalk landscape
- Saturday evening 21 July – attend the main Wayfaring event. All are welcome and its free to attend, tickets just need to be reserved at https://cornexchangenew.com/event/wayfaring-1
for the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Step into the unknown. Wayfaring is a journey of exploration inspired by the chalk landscape and ancient routes of the Icknield Way.
Find out more at wayfaring.org.uk