Four seasons come alive in Lincoln with art

Behind the Four Seasons exhibition (L-R): artists Paul Long, Esther Simpson, Dave Parkin and Kate Unwin

Four interactive art installations were brought together in Lincoln on Monday night for a world premiere exhibition at The Collection and The Drill Hall.

Most of the art pieces, called Four Seasons, have already toured the UK. However this is the first time all four pieces have been brought together in one city, in an exhibition that is a prelude to the Frequency digital arts festival.

“We started talking to the Lincoln digital arts festival a couple of years ago,” explained one of the artists, Paul Long. “The Frequency festival is very digital based, so it fits with Four Seasons very well.”

Each piece, named after each season, uses various digital sound and lighting techniques to represent the seasons and how they reflect different stages of life.

Spring for example,” said Long “is all about childhood and play, so the installation is very interactive, with lots of things happening and places to explore.”

Despite Four Seasons consists of four individual installations, there is a running narrative between them, which is told through the various objects laid about, pieces of audio from radio, and uniquely, in Winter, a pair of headphones that the public wears as they explore.

“All of the four seasons are based around one story,” Long said. “People think the visual arts don’t do stories as much, but they can, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t.”

“There’s quite a lot of layers in there,” he added. “We have people who pick up on different things, and people who relate very differently to different seasons.”

Artist Esther Simpson commented on the public’s response: “We have had a women in tears already. Winter is very moving, so we have a lot of big emotive reaction. But in Summer it’s all different, it’s all very interactive and you see lots of smiles.

“We have a lot of people with Autumn saying, ‘I had a chest of draws like that’ or ‘I had a lampshade like that.’ People really get attached to objects, especially older generations.”

Poet, artist and scientist Adrian Shaw had a similar reaction when he came across a Bill Crosby record in Winter: “It was a tradition in our house to play White Christmas every year for about 50 years.”

“I found it an extraordinary experience, and it brought back so many memories. I think it’s conducive to building up a picture not just of the character in the story, but also of ourselves.”

“I’ve got the impression everyone enjoyed it. The kids found it magical, so it’s not just the older members of the public. It appealed right across the age boundaries. I think its a wonderful experience for everyone.”

Four Seasons will be exhibiting for free at The Drill Hall and The Collection until October 21.