Suzanne Lacy – The Circle and The Square

This new film installation is the result of artist, Suzanne Lacy working with the people of Pendle, Lancashire, exploring the cultural and spiritual backgrounds of the community and the socio-economic circumstances that brought them together and now seemingly conspire to drive them apart.

The Circle and The Square is a moving testament to this process that culminated last year when, over three days in September 2016, the community came together to film themselves in the huge empty spaces of Brierfield Mill where many used to work. The production was a distillation of two years of community conversations and collective chanting and singing that ended in the largest gathering in the mill since its doors were closed all as elements of Shapes of Water, Sounds of Hope.

Using the two vocal forms of Shape Note singing and Sufi chanting, the installation includes multi-vocal conversations about the past, present and future of the region following the demise of the textile industry and will be accompanied by presentations of Shape Note, Dhikr, Nasheed and mill ballads.

The Circle & The Square was premiered in Northlight Mill, Pendle in September 2017 and went on to be shown at Sydney Biennale in 2018.


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Picture Credit Charlotte Graham / Guzelian Picture Shows, SUZANNE LACY’S SHAPES OF WATER, SOUNDS OF HOPE Major mass participation artwork taking place in the former Smith and Nephew Mill in Brierfield, Lancashire, UK. The culmination of US artist Suzanne Lacy’s 18 months commission, Shapes of Water, Sounds of Hope for Super Slow Way, saw hundreds of voices resonate in a former cotton mill in Lancashire. This was followed by a conversation over dinner for 500 local people about the future of the region after deindustrialisation and the importance of community cohesion, representing a much needed national conversation and the largest gathering in the mill since its doors were closed. Picture Taken Saturday 1st 2016

Picture Credit Charlotte Graham / Guzelian