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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Artist called people to howl, in memory of the last wolf killed in England

The artist explained the "mass howl" was intended to symbolise the "end of wildness in England"

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
June 1, 2021 3:50:25 pm
howling like a wolf, artwork, piece of art in England, howling like a wolf in Lancashire, Lancashire wolf, artwork in memory of a wolf, England wildness, artist, indian express newsParticipants turned up to 'howl' in great numbers. (Photo: Twitter/@LisaTMC2)

If you want to make a statement, you have to make yourself heard. Perhaps, this was the idea that prompted a Lancashire-based artist named Jamie Holman to pay 150 people £10 each, to howl in unison. Why would he do that? Well, the howling was a part of an exhibition of his, that he did in honour of the last wolf killed in England.

According to a report in The Guardian, on his Twitter account, Holman had requested for participants to join him at Preston bus station on May 30, to “contribute to a piece of art”. He had said the performance would happen from 2-4 pm, and every participant would get £10 (approximately Rs 1030) and refreshments.

“We invited [an initial] 100 people to gather at the iconic brutalist bus station in Preston. It’s going to be filmed and exhibited outside on a large screen [at the Lancashire Encounter festival] in September,” he was quoted as saying.

Per the report, last year’s Lancashire Encounter festival was cancelled because of the pandemic, but this year, the arts festival will return to Preston in September, on the weekend of 17-19.

It seems the promise of making some money was enticing enough, for people turned up to howl. The initial 100 sign-ups happened in half an hour, and Holman’s one regret was that he could not “give away more money”.

“I really should have done 500 people, but we couldn’t do it with Covid distancing. When my studio gets public art commissions we try to divert that funding back to people so they feel like they’re part of the event. It’s nice to not have to ask people to turn up and contribute something for nothing,” he said.

The artist explained the “mass howl” was intended to symbolise the “end of wildness in England”. By gathering in the same county — Lancashire — where the last wolf was supposedly killed, it made quite a statement.

“We’ve had to deal with this idea of nature again and kids haven’t been able to go outside and people haven’t been able to gather. There’s also this idea of howling in sadness, desperation and trauma, but also relief… It’s about being a pack again,” he was quoted as saying in the report.

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