Ghost Bird

A woman lies in a foetal position in the landscape

Ghost Bird

September 2012, Langden Valley, Trough of Bowland

Ghost Bird, was a silent walking-performance and live-art installation specific to, and performed, in the Langden Valley in the Trough of Bowland, Lancashire, an upland landscape internationally important for its heather moorland, blanket bog and rare birds. Referring to the ghostly grey feathers of the male hen harrier and their increasing absence, due to persecution, the work became a means of reflecting on the journey taken 400 years earlier over the Bowland Fells to Lancaster Castle by the persecuted Pendle Witches. Ghost Bird was created and designed by Louise Ann Wilson with choreography by Nigel Stewart and sound-design by Lisa Whistlecroft. It was performed by dance-artist Julia Griffin and a team of life-models.

Ghost Bird was produced by Louise Ann Wilson Company Ltd and co-commissioned by Green Close, as part of the Lancashire Witches 400 Programme, and Live at LICA It was made with the support of land-owners United Utilities and their tenants, The Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and hen harrier experts from the RSPB.

wasn't Saturday filled with awe and wonder.

Deeply affecting, moving. Powerful. I cried. Felt elated, ashamed, human.

A beautiful, haunting piece that expressed so much and especially conveyed the fragility of all things. Thank you. A privilege to have experienced in silence and quiet.


Audience Responses, Langden Valley, 2012.

Creator, Director and Scenographer: Louise Ann Wilson. 

Choreographer: Nigel Stewart.

Sound Designer: Lisa Whistlecroft.

Dancer: Julia Griffin.

Film, Technical Editor: Janan Yakula.

Pointing People: Jim Hendley, Lowri Jones, Alastair Walker.

Life Models: Carol Ackroyd, Gill Ainsworth, Lucy Archbould, Charlotte Bizsewski, Linda Bradshaw, Michael Bradshaw, Sarah Durham, Robert Ferguson, Karen Forshaw, Susan Hill, Janet House, Rob Hudson, Lisa Hunn, Anne Lees, Dandy Lion, Les Mac, Howard Mansfield, Julie Moosburg, Frances Panchoo, Steve Ritter, Martin Rowe, Yvonne Rowe, Mo Schofield, Neil Schofield, Caf Smith, John Tunney, Nick Verrall, Sheila Winstanley, Richard Worral, Neil Younghusband. 

Production Team: Project Manager: Peter Reed; Project Assistant: Lowri Jones; Stage Managers: Lesley Chernery, Craig Davidson, Shona Wright.

Installation Assistants: David Honeybone, Carla Monvid, Dorrie Scott.

Front of House Coordinator: Ele Kinchin-Smith; Front of House Assistants: Domonic Halladay, Derek Tarr.

Production Photographs: Manuel Vason.

Special thanks to Agri-Cycle for the loan of the spent gun cartridges.