Super Slow Way is an arts programme in Pennine Lancashire shaped by local communities working alongside a wide range of local, national and international artists and producers. Super Slow Way takes its name from a poem by Ian McMillan, the Canal & River Trust’s poet laureate for 2012, about the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, which runs across the area the programme serves. The poem encapsulates the evolution of the canal; from the ‘Super Highway’ of the region’s booming textile industry 200 years ago to the ‘Super Information Highway’ the canal has become today, a fibre optic route for the digital age. The canal is also an important source of nature and tranquility today, a ‘Super Slow Way’ where people and communities can take time out and explore how time can be used more creatively. It’s this transformation of the canal – and its impact – that informs Super Slow Way’s work with the diverse communities found along the canal’s route, from Blackburn to Pendle.
The programme features a combination of community commissions, artist residencies and strategic commissions, all of which involve artists working with individuals, communities, businesses and others to explore the Super Slow Way’s three key themes of manufacturing past and present, the natural environment, and the digital world.
The vision is for the canal to become a vehicle for bringing communities together on a waterway which everyone shares, exploring how radical and ambitious art programming by the people of Pennine Lancashire can develop creativity, strength and connectedness across and within communities.