Tracing Shadows

Tracing Shadows

Art Gene is delighted to present newly commissioned work led by artist Patricia MacKinnon-Day, made in collaboration with poet Kim Moore & composer Nick Rogers.

22 January 2022

Tracing Shadows, dual screen projection at Art Gene, Patrica MacKinnon-Day


Tracing Shadows

22 January – 5 March 2022

An exhibition led by Patricia MacKinnon-Day

In collaboration with Kim Moore & Nick Rogers

Art Gene is delighted to present newly commissioned work led by artist Patricia MacKinnon-Day, made in collaboration with poet Kim Moore & composer Nick Rogers. This exhibition is an extension of The Calling Sheds, an investigation into the working lives of four women shepherds based in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

For Tracing Shadows, artworks presented both inside and outside Art Gene’s building take inspiration from the passion and commitment of a Cumbrian shepherd based on Cartmel Fell, and the rich heritage of sheep farming in this region, with links to the monastic success of Furness Abbey.


Tracing Shadows (2022) excerpt, Patricia Mackinnon-Day

22 January, 6-8pm – Private View (RSPV only)

22 January-5 March– Dual screen projection viewable from Abbey Road every evening

26-27 February, 12-4pm – Exhibition open to the public

Art Gene, Abbey Road, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA14 5TY

Exhibition open on other dates by appointment. Contact Art Gene on 01229 825085.



Tracing Shadows, still from dual screen projection, Patrica MacKinnon-Day


Tracing Shadows is an exploration into the working life of Lisa Berry, a contemporary Cumbrian sheep farmer.

For this project Patricia MacKinnon-Day, Kim Moore & Nick Rogers have taken inspiration from the farmer’s working methods and compassionate approach to raising sheep at her farm on Cartmel Fell, to produce new collaborative work in moving image, sculpture, poetry and music.

The centuries old practice of sheep farming in Cumbria and the Lake District was instrumental to the success of Barrow’s Furness Abbey as a major landowner in the county. Now, contemporary farmers continue the tradition, bringing a commitment and a deep connection with the land and seasons.

This new work presents the artists unique responses to the natural and constructed heritage of the Lake District, from Cartmel Fell to Barrow-in-Furness, and its tradition of rearing sheep.

Each evening Mackinnon Day’s dual screen projection will be seen through the windows of Art Gene’s Victorian building, the full exhibition continues inside in Art Gene’s Mezzanine space.


Tracing Shadows, dual screen projection at Art Gene, Patrica MacKinnon-Day


The Calling Sheds

Tracing Shadows forms part of The Calling Sheds, a project supported using public funding from Arts Council England.

The Calling Sheds is an investigation by artist Patricia MacKinnon-Day into the language and working processes of four women shepherds in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Working in partnership with independent curator Charu Vallabhbhai, Mackinnon-Day seeks to creatively engage the collaborating shepherds, whilst also connecting female farm workers in rural locations across the British Isles.

The project was initiated through the installation of a shed at each collaborating shepherd’s farm, an act that soon created a lively virtual space for dialogue in which the four collaborating shepherds connect and share their common experience.  The sheds on their farms have become their own private residency space, allowing them to step into another sphere where they live and work.



Patricia MacKinnon-Day

MacKinnon-Day is a mid-career practitioner with over 25 years of site-responsive art practice, including projects: Constructing Connections: Fiction, Art and Life (2017- 2018), with artists Paul Rooney and Neville Gabie, involving research and site intervention at Croxteth Hall, Liverpool; Tracing the Landscape, involving five women farmers in Cumbria and culminating in a multi-media installation commissioned for Abbot Hall Art Gallery (2017-2018); and Rural Voices with the film, Private Views Made Public, involving women farmers in Cheshire (2010-2013).

MacKinnon-Day is a Reader in Site Intervention Art and has recently been awarded a PhD in published works at Liverpool John Moore’s University, where she has been working in the School of Art and Design for 20 years in a variety of research and teaching posts. A piece of her writing was published in 2017 (IJade, an international journal), exploring ideas around people and place, and demonstrating her critical engagement with auto-ethnography. She contributed to the symposium An Artist’s Anthropological Approach to Sustainability supporting the idea that art can make a difference to society and examining four case studies which explored the infra-ordinary within the immensity of social, political, historical and physical non-art places. 2022 sees the presentation of three further new commissions by Mackinnon-Day that will culminate in exhibitions and permanent public realm installations in Hull, Chester and Cambridge.


Kim Moore

Kim Moore was born in Leicester and now lives in Cumbria. Her first pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves was a winner in the 2011 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition, and went on to be shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award and the Lakeland Book of the Year. Her first full length collection The Art of Falling (Seren 2015) won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Her second collection All The Men I Never Married was published by Seren in 2021 and her first non-fiction book What The Trumpet Taught Me will be published by Smith/Doorstop in March 2022.

She won an Eric Gregory Award and the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Poem in 2015. She won the 2020 Ledbury Poetry Competition and was placed third in the 2021 Mslexia Poetry Competition.  Her work has been translated into many languages as part of the Versopolis project and she was a judge for the 2018 National Poetry Competition and the 2020 Forward Prizes. She was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Bursary in 2016 to carry out PhD research at Manchester Metropolitan University, and completed her doctorate in ‘Poetry and Everyday Sexism’ at Manchester Metropolitan University in March 2020.  She is the co-director of Kendal Poetry Festival and hosts a monthly reading series for Wordsworth Grasmere as well as running regular writing workshops for young people and adults.


Nick Rogers

Nick Rogers is a musician and producer based in Kendal. He moved from London in 2006, working as a museum curator while recording and playing with local musicians in Cumbria. His music is highly personal and inward-looking, built around layers of textures and drones to create a hypnotic and immersive environment. He draws on a diverse range of influences, from 20th-century classical to folk, punk and experimental rock, via the visionary jazz of Alice Coltrane and mystical soundtracks of Eduard Artemyev. The Calling Sheds is his first exhibition commission.


Lisa Berry

Lisa Berry moved to Long Garth farm on Cartmel Fell, Cumbria in 2013. She is a professional photographer and took up farm management with no previous farming experience.  When Lisa and her husband inherited Long Garth farm it was grazed by sheep left abandoned, previously owned by a neighbouring farmer who had passed away. With the sheep in lamb, she embraced sheep rearing and has not looked back. Today Long Garth farm successfully rears sheep and cows.


Tracing Shadows forms part of The Calling Sheds, a project supported using public funding from Arts Council England.




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