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Grizedale Arts.Newsletter

Sin of Grizedale: Of Many Parts and the Issue of Why I Love the Lakes

This month we celebrate the Spiritual Heartland of the Re-United Kingdom in a timely coming together of all things landscrapy and not only that but 15 years of Grizedale Arts. This is because the Lakeland Arts Trust has invited Grizedale to spread its branches across all its branches. So we have, and more, with a major (really? are you sure you want to use that word? Ed.) survey of as much as we can squeeze into five galleries; telling the story from Sculpture Park, through Bad Boys and Girls to Village Utility. Such a task has only been possible with the support of invited curators from our project earlier this year in the Korean Anyang Public Art Programme project, Jin Kwon, Jina Lee and Yunkyung Kam and including the first RCA/Grizedale/LAT associate Nicole Vinokur.

Although no one seems to have noticed, it does afford that holy grail of Cumbrian Cultural Tourism: a full multiday schedule tour (oooh, Bednights? Dep. Ed) for any potential visitor. Stringing a pearly necklace of delight starting in Kendal, running through to Blackwell in Windermere before crossing on the ferry to take in the Grizedale tree plantation, John Ruskin’s Brantwood and ending with everything at once rubbed in on your face, with a hint of vanilla at the Coniston Institute. For watering holes we can offer two branch choices: 1) The Search for Authenticity Tour in which we would include lunch at The Spinnery in Bowness and dinner at The Keswick School of Industrial Arts with tea at Brantwood (Double double egg and gammon – Dep Ed). However if seeing one time politically driven projects that have become tourism-led restaurants fills you with broadsheet disdain, then take the alternative 2) The Search for Edibility tour would be breakfast/elevensies at the bakery in the industrial estate at Oxenholme station – (the best croissant I have ever eaten in Britain - Ed.) lunch at l’Enclume and on to tea at the Coniston Institute (where might one best enjoy a bednight? Ed.).

This retrospectiveness goes under the title of The Nuisance of Landscape a many part thing in many parts. Look for the yellow AA Signs – a stand alone yellow treat – the brief was to get Turner, Landscape and Local onto one sign.

Part 1: The Nuisance of Landscape - Grizedale the Sequel (this might go on a bit)

Abbott Hall Art Gallery 10 October – 20 December

A new sense of what a general nuisance landscape really is, the exhibition covers the history of Grizedale as it emerged from the dark woods from 1999 to the present - from confrontational attempts to be honest about the place to attempts to be honest about our confrontation. The exhibition tells the story of the programme and illustrates the changing attitude to where we live. It also tells a bigger story of change in art and artists over the past decade. All the hits and misses under one roof: forest confrontation, cultural car crash and hug a local, plus an artist’s film survey thrown in. Feeling that was not enough, enough is never enough, we have also on the dias in front of Abbot Hall (bearing down on the Barbara Hepworth) the UK premier of Anchorhold. Marcus Coates will be offering one to one advice (From 8th Nov - alongside Kendal’s Deputy Mayor and many others).

Much as we might like to list all the people and artists included in the survey it would fill the newsletter, rest assured somewhere, somehow pretty much everyone from the past 15 years is in there somewhere.

Farmer John Atkinson looking out over a sea of smog Farmer John Atkinson looking out over a sea of smog

Part Two: Laure Prouvost, Wantee

Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry

10 October - 20 December

For those who missed last year’s Wantee and the Turner Prize Homecoming Exhibition or the Turner Prize Exhibition in Derry or Schwitters in Britain exhibition at Tate, yet another interpretation of Laure Prouvost's Wantee in the Museum of Lakeland Life - in a reconstructed 18th century kitchen (This one sounds like the best yet, so crusty. Ed.) (Golden Wonder crisps look really good against farmyard bygones, so real! – Dep Ed.).

Part Three: After Ford 151: Blackwell’s Dark Place

Blackwell the Arts and Crafts House

10 October - 20 December

In the tower room at the top of Baillie Scott’s perfectly preserved Arts and Crafts House on the shores of Windermere you will find Grizedale’s alternative history of design through the subjective use of the Lawson Park Collections. Between the smoke and mirrors of our received history, Blackwell’s Dark Place will reveal themes, connections and implications of design history; focused on our attempts to organize the content of the world around us. (What you mean changing the world with egg cups? – Dep Ed). The project highlights the successes and failures of the Arts and Crafts movement, its progeny and politics and its war with modernity and mechanization (Also known as the Machinery Question for 19C buffs – Dep Ed). The exhibition is in a traditional format, being presented in the inverted roof of a cardboard cathedral with laser and smoke machine enhancements. (Sounds right up the alley of the average Blackwellgoer - Dep Ed)

Part Four: It’s All About the Landscape

Coniston Mechanics Institute

10 Nov to 1 Dec

A rebirthing of art, craft and design (ow Ed.) in the original home of the Lakes Artists and Ruskin’s Home Craft Industries, by turning the Institute’s main hall into a stand alone self-sustaining production, exhibition and retail unit. The show combines an exhibition of traditional and palatable landscape paintings from Cumbrian collections (the pre-industrial revolution working landscape with actual people in them actually working) alongside an antique shop specialising in local Arts and Crafts movement, a functioning coffee and cake café, massage bed, a crafts workshop developing new home craft products, but also offering visitors the opportunity to create their own souvenirs and nascent products. The self-contained unit is designed and built by artist D J Simpson and incorporates the village indoor bowls club (meetings Friday afternoons through November) Visitors are welcome to come during bowls times and are welcome to join in (so you’re telling me I can have a massage, see some contemporary art, enjoy some classic landscapes, buy a piece of Ruskin pottery, make a Laure Provoust T-towel and play bowels – that is an exhibition that delivers to every orifice – Ed.) See here for more info

Part 4.3.2. EU Clause B: Confessions of the Imperfect: On Art, History and Use: 1848 – 1989 – Now

Van Abbe Museum – Eindhoven, Netherlands

22 November – 22 February

If you want even more then this exhibition curated by Grizedale and Alistair Hudson with the Van Abbe Museum presents an alternative non-history of modern art taking us from revolution, through Ruskin, design, careers for miners, city planning, colonialism, cheese, globalization, Lidl, the Berlin Wall, a Korean Noodle bar all the way to the Arab Spring and You Tube. Everything you suspected Alfred Barr wasn’t telling you and a little more, with contributions from Liam Gillick, John Ruskin, Renzo Martens, Alexandra Pirici & Manuel Pelmus Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Grizedale Arts, Fernando Garcia-Dory, Antoni Miralda, Adam Clarke, Static and Akram Zaatari, a Robot Arm and a large tin of cadmium red (before the EU ban it).

Part Past, Part Present: Past, Present: Somewhere

Kettles Yard, Cambridge

13 September – 23 November

Long time Grizedale collaborators Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope have a retrospective of their own at our Plus Tate friends Kettles Yard in Cambridge. Like us they struggle to get the non-gallery orientated work onto the walls of a gallery and within the etiquette of exhibition language. Spanning 15 years of innovative and outfacing projects that have genuinely involved people as participants. The artists have been a strong influence on the work and direction that Grizedale has taken, contributing to many of our projects but more importantly acting as a like mind; part of a peer group that have sustained and supported Grizedale over many years. (See also several components from their projects at Abbot Hall) (including the now legendary Massive Ruskin Head – Dep Ed)

Party Line: Mechanics at Home at the Burnley Mechanics

In the 19th Century members of the Burnley Mechanics Institute used to take educational excursions to the Lake District to study the then fashionable hot new trend – geology. In a 21st Century approximation/reciprocation of this we have taken the unfashionable Axminster carpet from the Burnley Mechanics Institute to mulch our paddyfields (unfashionable? wish some one had told me, what will the deer say? Ed.). This is merely a light but useful adjunct to the serious project we are now embarking upon to breathe new life into the Burnley Mechanics and indeed Burnley in partnership with Burnley Council, Ground Up, The Guild (formerly UHC) and Burnley Youth Theatre. The Opening weekend of the programme features workshops, talks and more from October 23 see here for more details including a lunchtime talk by Kieran Long. For more info go here

Parting Shots: Deputy Dawg Does Done

After ten years of service at the coal face of participatorily engaged dialogical turning practice practice, (is that what you have been doing Ed.) (That’s what Paul O’Neill told me – Dep Ed). Deputy Director Alistair Hudson has suffered a severe reaction to aesthetic landscape amenity, over-large portions of crap pub food, planning protocol (have you finished that application Ed.)(Give me sec – Dep Ed), adventure capitalism, litter, stunning views and over size contemporary Stunt Art, On October 17 he hot foots it to the nearest industrial metropolis that will have him. He now takes up the position of Director of Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art where he will no doubt inject a shot of Grizedale-refined use-juice and beautiful landscape exhibitions.

On a less serious note Grizedale and I would like to thank and acknowledge Alistair’s enormous contribution to the programme through times of major change and great satisfactions. Alistair has contributed great energy, an even temperament and a keen humour. His mastery of diplomacy has regularly put things back in the frying pan, despite my concerted efforts to let them jump, he has been a key to how Grizedale has developed and we will all miss him terribly – as a board member said ‘I am a bit worried that ‘good cop’ is leaving us’. MIMA - your gain, in the words of Olaf Bruening, “Tread him gud, treat him up, use him all good. (Does this serious tone mean I can’t do this newsletter any more or can we edit the Mima catalogues together? – Dep Ed)


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