Life Cycles & Landscapes

An ambitious three-year project from 2016-2019, Life Cycles & Landscapes was a partnership between Activate, producers of the Inside Out Dorset festival, artists And Now: and Landscapes for Life, the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

And Now: - a partnership between artists Mandy Dike and Ben Rigby; created a major new landscape art commission: Wayfaring at the heart of the project.

Wayfaring was a journey of exploration, inspired by the present landscape and ancient routes of the Icknield Way; the series of artworks invited audiences to think about movement and migration; how we arrive at, understand, inhabit, and leave a space.

Wayfaring took place at a series of locations each within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the sites spoke of the opportunities and tensions present in the country today.

Using local materials and a travelling lightweight “tool-kit” the artists created installations that audiences could move through, investigate and contribute to. On the final evenings, fire, music and performance transformed the installations in rousing celebrations of everybody there coming together; of paths crossing at that one time at that one place.

The project included a programme of residencies, creative labs and professional development for artists and University students, a series of conference presentations and a final seminar bringing together the landscape and heritage sectors, cultural producers and artists in September 2019.  

Wayfaring took place in four locations in 2018: Wells in Norfolk as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Basildon Park in Berkshire in the Thames Valley in partnership with the National Trust, the Newbury Corn Exchange and 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space , Maiden Castle in Dorset, as part of Activate’s Inside Out Dorset festival ; plus the Dutch island of Terschelling, as part of the Oerol Festival .  All the UK locations were within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

A publication sharing the learning and deeper insights: ‘The Story of Life Cycles & Landscapes’ will soon be available here on this webpage or in hard copy via Activate.


Photo Credits - Nick Read, Harley Oliff, Mike Petitdemange, Mandy Dike, Albert Wester

Title Image Credits:Original art works by And Now Photographic imagery by Nick Read

Lead Artists

 And Now: Mandy Dike and Ben Rigby 

Activate Performing Arts

Kate Wood, Executive and Co-Artistic Director
Bill Gee, Co-Artistic Director

Kim Tilbrook, Project Manager

Samantha Gillingham, Project Assistant
Belinda Kidd – Evaluation


Landscapes for Life, the National Association of AONBs

Norfolk Coast AONB

North Wessex Downs AONB

Chilterns AONB

Dorset AONB

With thanks to Basildon Park, a National Trust property in the Thames Valley, Arts University Bournemouth and the conservation team at Holkam Estate.

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