Ghost Bird (15 and 16 September 2012) was a silent walking-performance and live-art installation specific to the Langden Valley in the Trough of Bowland, 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 the increasing absence, due to persecution, of nesting pairs in the Trough of Bowland, Ghost Bird celebrated the birds’ beauty whilst drawing attention to its sometimes fragile existence within the north of England. In doing so, the work became a means of re-flecting on the journey taken 400 years earlier over the Bowland Fells to Lancaster Castle by the persecuted Pendle Witches. Following a pathway into upper reaches of the valley, participant were invited to walk onto the moorland where, continuing in silence, they discovered installations and interventions made from the materials of the place that are inspired by the landscape and in particular the hen harrier.
Ghost Bird was created, directed and designed by Louise Ann Wilson with choreography by Nigel Stewart of Sap Dance, sound by Lisa Whistlecroft, and was performed by dancer Julia Griffin and a team of life-models. It 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 Estates and their tenants, the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and hen harrier experts from the RSPB.