It would be crass to bemoan the disappearance of summer with so many people suffering substantial damage to their homes and livelihoods. But despite harrowing weather conditions across the country, The Big Chill festival site in Herefordshire has had a lucky escape, and is sporting dry, green fields for the event this weekend. The programme boasts an assortment of visual as well as musical culture, and one highlight is the Art Trail, complementing the laid-back line-up of bands. A loose theme of scientific experimentation seems to unite these oddball installations. Australian artist Ben Blakeborough’s dreams of flying are realised in Winged Self, a contraption based on the 1950s-designed Hiller Flying Platform, which will hover magically – artist included – over the festival. Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey, whose architectural installations use light-sensitive grass to record photographic images (lately seen adorning the National Theatre in London), are creating a verdant work that will grow by the main stage, casting pictures in an intriguing medium. Experimental filmmaking group Semiconductor presents a new work, Earth Moves, featuring images of landscapes, which have been animated based on sound footage taken from each location. And, Walker and Bromwich will have a pirate radio boat moored on the lake, clad in 50 000 mirror tiles to create a shimmering odyssey. With these works installed around Eastnor Castle’s grounds, fingers crossed the rain stays away and gives everyone reason to enjoy the beautiful countryside again.
The Big Chill is at Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Great Malvern, Herefordshire, from 3-5 August