Paper Bridge

Artist Steve Messam specialises in environmental art. His works, often ephemeral, are designed to work with their surroundings. His latest piece is a paper bridge set in the heart of the English Lake District. Paper Bridge is made entirely of paper from the Croppers paper mill near Kendal in Cumbria. The abutments are made from locally sourced stone contained in a wire cage. The bridge itself made from leaves of deep red card formed into an arch. No glue, no nails, just gravity to hold it together.

I visited the bridge earlier on today to help out a little by counting visitors and asking people to fill in questionnaires but mainly to look and take pictures. What an absolute delight! I present here a selection of pictures. Click on them for high-res versions.

First view of the bridge on the 3km walk in. bridge-02

Information Sign.
bridge-03aDwarfed by the surrounding.bridge-01

The formers used to construct the bridgebridge-04

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Turn out was fantastic with over a thousand people visiting today despite the 3km walk in and the biting wind!bridge-10bridge-07

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On the left: Steve Messam.  He’s photographing Alan Hinkes on the bridge. Alan was the first mountaineer to climb all 8000m+ mountains on earth. Amazing who you meet out on the hills!bridge-09

Here’s Steve’s photo of Alan:
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Check out this amazing video of the bridge embedded with kind permission from Henry Iddon

Paper Bridge from Henry Iddon on Vimeo.


A bit of background on how I know Steve. Back in 2004 (!) Steve invited me to exhibit at his gallery, The Fold Gallery in Kirby Steven. The resulting exhibition ‘Paper Cut’ was my first, and so far only one man exhibition. There are still a few traces online here.bridge-11