This exhibition was curated to occupy the main hall of Coniston Institute, which was founded at the height of Romantic appreciation of the Lake District landscape, thus presenting a collision of art, craft and design in the original home of the Lakes Artists and of Ruskin’s home craft revival industries such as lace-making.
Turning the Institute’s main hall into a self-sustaining production, exhibition and retail unit, the show combined traditional and palatable landscape paintings from Cumbrian collections (showing the pre-Industrial Revolution working landscape with actual people in them actually working), with an antique shop specialising in the local Arts & Crafts Movement; a café; a massage bed and a crafts workshop developing new home craft products.
Alongside this, the exhibition offered visitors the opportunity to create their own souvenirs and nascent products by hand to take away.
The show was presented on innovative geometric hanging units designed and built by artist D J Simpson, and even incorporated the weekly village indoor bowls club who still needed to use the space.(Visitors to the exhibition were welcome to attend during bowls times and to join in with sessions)
This project was conceived by as part of the five year ‘Uses of Art’ project with L’Internationale, a confederation of European museums, and was made possible with the support of the Culture Fund of the European Union and Arts Council England.