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Grizedale Arts.Newsletter

The Stain of Grizedale (Don't worry it washes out in an instant)

Long time no news – trouble with editor, it being me and me not having an 'appropriate' button. It’s not like I haven’t written a newsletter it’s just I cant send it out – too rude. So here again I try to be just polite enough.

Just returned from a tough 6 weeks delivering a project for the Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. The catch phrases from the project were legion – ‘watching work sets you free’ amongst my favourites. Of the joys of the project were Sweetwater Foundation (a Chicago collective rebuilding communities), Jonathan Meese (from l'enfant terrible to jovial Weihnachtsmann), Tony Louth (the compost evangelist), all people with an energy and excitement about what they can achieve and how they can improve the world around them through action.

You can see Jonathan's performance L.O.V.E. Monster Don't Vote here

And another good thing or two

Among other good things I would draw your attention to would be our ‘How to’ films (made by Maria Benjamin) and the Actually Useful Art channel, also featuring Marcus Coates and his 7 minute Creative Fitness workout - see them all here – and if nothing else discover the vocal stylings of Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland.

Visually the Straw Barn and Glut Field designed by Publicworks and Somewhere were a highlight creating a theatrical backdrop for the functional activity – the project being a theatrical representation of what many people are doing for real, including Grizedale back in Coniston, on which note…see below.

Kirsty Roberts and Miranda Vane worked with many people from the project to create a hand book for the self build life – a ‘from nothing’ sustainable way of living. Drawn from historical reference and contemporary invention. Here.

Fair Coniston – Thursday to Sunday - 20th September – 6th November

The fair moniker grates again as we bring the project to the Coniston Institute. All the functions none of the theatrics. Make the products, sell the products, sing the theme tune. Workshops throughout, meals, exercise, big fun, maybe a new kind of fun that might take a bit of getting used to.

Fair Making stations – useful, desirable, achievable (can be made in 15 minutes by anyone). The offer is, make it yourself for free or buy it for 5 buttons (the project has it’s own money). These are the objects illustrated here. We are encouraging people to copy the products and turn them into a hobby business, that’s the idea – it wont make you rich but it might make you well.

We will be making lunches from the glut crop of the moment and doing cooking demonstrations - making good things from nothing. Metamorphic furniture, politicised flower arranging all function and meaning through product.

Other highlights include talks and workshops with Robert Hewison, Assemble, Grainne Hassett and many more.

Full programme here.


St Peter’s Seminary – Nr Glasgow, Scotland with lighting mavricks NVA. The Fair Land collective will be working with the Coniston Village Table on developing a community catering project for the outlying villages of Cardross and Renton – with a aim to service the developing tourist attraction of St Peter’s Seminary – a fabulous mid century modernist ruin / architectural homage to Le Beeg Guy.

The Fairland collective will also be working on a project in Japan called “The Dream Plan in Kiwanosato” following through from the Fairland project we will aim to create an education, a viable economy and a good way to live. A longer term ambition is to create a residency base in Japan that would function/exchange alongside GA’s UK base.

Coming back up

House of Ferment at Harris Gallery 24th 25th September – coming into you very soon (should you choose). The HOF bubbles and fizzes in the spectacular inner courtyard at Harris gallery in joyful Preston. Demonstrations, tastings, films and all the usual stuff – get prepared for the winter - without successful storing of food you wont make it through (unless you go shopping like every week).

Village Table available for Christmas events

Village table is available for events – draw from the unique menu of produce and art works for your 'whatever' event, includes seasonally rare stuff like Teal, Snipe, weird mushrooms, figs, nuts, hard fruits, fermented product, cabbage and potatoes.

Coniston Youth Club present a new range of ‘Last TV Dinners’ available from the Honest Shop freezer and including the last meals of:

John Ruskin - Sole, Pheasant and sweet champagne

Abraham Lincon - Mock Turtle soup, Guinea fowl, chestnut stuffing, cauliflower cheese, baked yams

Ghandi – Steamed vegetables, goat’s milk and ginger, sour lemons, strained butter and aloe juice.

Martin Luther King - Fried chicken and cornbread

Francois Mitterand - Ortelan (whoops can’t do that one, protected species as it was when Mitterand had them but I guess if you need to eat protected species that’s the time to do it).

Un becoming

‘What Does Art Do’ Gwangju biennale In which Grizedale was a 'fellow' amongst many interesting projects, but the thought o fthe flight and the chaos proved too much to stand/sit on a bean bag for. The idea of talking about being useful stuck too firmly in the craw, there are just too many talking about doing things in the art world. Fernando Garcia Dory did something about newts.

Just in case you are in Helsinki, or Geneva on these dates GA is evangelising at
'Residencies Reflected' 16th and 17th November Helsinki
and October 11th and 12th - 'Art Village' - Sierre, Geneva

November 18th - 20th there is a thing in NYC about being an alternative art school which we will be taking part - more info here

By the way the point of these newsletters is to develop these projects – so if you are interested – I mean actually interested in the projects – not so much your career, get in touch – come up with some ideas and do some hard work.

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