Airship Dreams: Escaping Gravity

Airship Dreams: Escaping Gravity Blog

About Airship Dreams

Discover Bedford’s fascinating history as the centre of the UK’s airship industry and imagine the future of flight in this ambitious new art project by Bedford Creative Arts.

In this unprecedented era, as global lockdowns halt the flow of international travel, we look back to a time when air travel was a distant aspiration; an almost unimaginable and futuristic technological feat that would reshape our relationship to the planet.

Ever been curious about the huge sheds dominating Bedfordshire’s skyline? Led by award-winning artist Mike Stubbs, Airship Dreams is an artistic enquiry into Bedford’s airship heritage and the tragic fate of the R101, drawing on the community’s collective memory and imagination to explore our relationship with flight and air travel.

Following a call-out to the local community to share airship memories, artefacts and fantasies for an online archive, the project will culminate in a major exhibition at The Higgins Bedford in 2021. The exhibition will feature airship-inspired art installations including an immersive audio-visual experience by Mike Stubbs, alongside a selection of community contributions curated by the Higgins’ Keeper of Social History and the Airship Heritage Trust.

Throughout the remainder of 2020, BCA will be encouraging you to contribute to our online community archive and feed into the exhibition – whether it’s a story from your grandma, a photo or artefact from that time, or a picture your children have drawn of an airship, there are many ways for you to share and get involved. Find out more here.

Airship Dreams is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and sponsored by the Harpur Trust, and delivered in partnership with Airship Heritage Trust.


Image: R101 test flight over Bedford, courtesy of Bedfordshire Archives