In their final Panopticons and Land Evaluation book, curators Mid Pennine Arts kindly acknowledged the small role that Ian Banks played as “Lead Consultant on Design Review Panel for Panopticons Phase II”, and which included the technical assessment of a second strand of short-listed projects that led to the ultimate realisation of Panopticons projects Singing Ringing Tree in Burnley and Halo in Rossendale. This detailed design review was carried out in conjunction with structural engineer Martin Stockley,  QS Colin Hayward and the lead Panopticons Phase II curator, Cathy Newbery.

Based throughout so-called ‘Pennine Lancashire’, each Panopticon has been designed to attract visitors into the countryside to enjoy the stunning landscapes that this delightful area has to offer, and they are all situated on a high-point site commanding spectacular views. They are simultaneously structures to both view a dynamic 360 degree vista from, and modern icons or follys marking the landscape, and generally glimpsed from long distance too.

The name and definition of a ‘Panopticon’ (noun: structure, space or device providing a comprehensive or panoramic view) had been suggested by Ian some years earlier as a suitably evocative and eccentric name for the programme, whilst acting as Public Art and Architecture Officer for Arts Council England NW, (his temporary secondment from 2000 – 2004); During his time with ACE, Ian had also sat on the judging panels for the orginal Panopticons Phase I design competition hosted by RIBA; Finally in 2006, and whilst acting as the lead public art consultant for The Northern Way on behalf of ACE, he helped recommend and secure further strategic investment in Panopticons Phase II (via Halo funding) from an overall £4.5m New Icons of the North regional investment and marketing budget. Details of Ian’s involvement in this can be see by clicking here.

These are of course all rather tenous links, but they have undoubtedly contributed in a very small way in helping drive forward this visionary programme, as conceived and led by Mid Pennine Arts.



Categories: Public Art

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