New Black-led creative project begins in the Lake District National Park

Published on: 05 Dec 2023

head and shoulders photo of Wajid Hussain

Alongside identity on tyne the Lake District National Park Authority is excited to announce the beginning of the Black Nature in Residence programme in the Lake District.

The Black Nature in Residence Programme is a unique, ambitious, and ground-breaking project consisting of five residences for five creatives of the Global Majority in each of the five Northern National Parks. In addition to the Lake District National Park Authority, Northumberland, Yorkshire Dales, North Yorks Moors, and the Peak District National Parks are all involved in this Black-led Arts Council England-funded project.

This Black-led project will start adding more diverse voices to the climate crisis facing society today. Wajid Hussain, a multidisciplinary artist based in Newcastle upon-Tyne, will be in residence within nature for the coming year with Lake District National Park Authority including time at the National Park visitor centre, Brockhole. Each residency is self-designed allowing each creative to build closer links between nature, the National Park, and the diverse communities they serve.

Dr. Sheree Mack, Project Coordinator of identity on tyne, says: “The Black Nature in Residence Programme is providing much needed space outdoors for diverse creatives and communities to just be in the British countryside, to take up space, create and share stories around the natural environment by and for diverse communities. Having creatives of the Global Majority in residence within nature is powerful inspiration for others within the cultural and creative industries. This is a leadership role with the potential to change perceptions and narratives around who has a right to be creative within nature as well as within society as a whole.”

Wajid Hussain, creative in residence adds: “identity on tyne has put together a distinctive and potent project that offers a unique canvas for creative exploration.

The backdrop of the Lake District is a phenomenal setting for this residency and what it offers me as a creative is as striking as it is exciting. My time here is seeking the interplay between me, my art, and this natural setting. I am looking forward to an immersive time exploring and shaping my work with an open mind. What the influence of this natural place will be, guiding my creative response during this journey is what I am keen to experience and respond to.”

Ruth Suddaby, Learning Coordinator, Lake District National Park Authority welcomes the project. She says: “We are proud to be a supporting partner of the Black Nature in Residence programme (BNiR) and look forward to collaborating with and learning from Wajid throughout his time here in the Lake District. It’s fantastic to have this unique opportunity to involve the local community and schools in this exciting creative project and we look forward to seeing it take shape over the coming months.”

The Lake District National Park Partnership has identified five key outcomes in the Partnership Plan, one of which is creating a ‘Lake District for Everyone’. Through the work on this key outcome. The Partnership recognises that to tackle the environmental challenges facing society today we need to increase our impact by collaborating with leaders from more diverse backgrounds. BNiR is a great project to help the Partnership advance this work.


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