Experience Outstanding Culture in the Lake District this Autumn

Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal (photo by Tony West) Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House near Windermere Grizedale Forest Sculpture (photo by Tony West)

This autumn Lakes Culture brings you a colourful and creative season of art, theatre and festivals – all guaranteed to inspire and satisfy art connoisseurs, families and those that just love the Lake District.

Experience outstanding culture in the inspiring setting of the Lake District this autumn

Check out our top cultural events in the Lake District this season…

// Spinning the Colours of Lakeland at Blackwell, The Arts & Craft House, Bowness-on-Windermere, 24 September – 29 January 2017

Hall at The Spinnery, Fairfield, Bowness-on-Windermere
Hall at The Spinnery, Fairfield, Bowness-on-Windermere

‘Colour I revel in’ – the words of Annie Garnett, the creative Arts and Crafts designer and entrepreneur who became a key figure in the revival of hand spinning and weaving in the Lake District. This exhibition will include examples of Annie Garnett’s designs on paper and the resulting silks, embroideries and textiles. It will also explore the inspiration for the forms and colours of these in the landscape and skies of Lakeland and especially in the fascinating garden created by Annie close to the Spinnery and once described by an American journalist as ‘A colour laboratory in the English lake region’.

On 23 September you can join the curators of Spinning the Colours of Lakeland who will lead a tour highlighting the inspiration for Annie Garnett’s colours and designs in her garden. Book your ticket here

// Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016, Grizedale Forest & Visitor Centre, 3 September – 1 January 2017

Seaweed Farming in Malaysian Borneo by Eric Madeja
Seaweed Farming in Malaysian Borneo by Eric Madeja

The Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 presents a shortlist of 60 exceptional environmental photographs, from a submission of ten thousand images by photographers and filmmakers internationally. The photographs and films reflect the urgent environmental and social concerns that surround us today. Topics include recent natural catastrophes induced by the changing climate, the effects of population growth on the urban environment, and the resourceful ways in which the human race is preserving the earth’s biodiversity.  Experience this powerful exhibition in the natural setting of Grizedale Forest.  Supported for the fourth year by Forestry Commission England.

The exhibition at Grizedale Forest will be accompanied by a portfolio showcase by photographer Pedram Yazdani, winner of the Forestry Commission England People Nature and Economy Award 2016.

// Joseph Hardman: People on Film, Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry, Kendal, 17 September – 17 December

Joseph Hardman shooting with a large plate camera, Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry, Kendal, Lake District
Joseph Hardman shooting with a large plate camera, Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry, Kendal, Lake District

Joseph Hardman was a prolific photographer who captured images of Lakeland life between the 1930s and the 1960s. The Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry now holds over 5000 of his original glass slides. This show will bring together some of these images to examine an aspect of Hardman’s work that is often overlooked, his use of people as subjects. Hardman is more famous for his stunning landscapes or the work of shepherds, but people from all walks of life play an important role in his photographs. This display will ask how the figures in Hardman’s pictures were used and how they help to create his signature Lake District images.

// People on Paper, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, 29 October – 17 December

People on Paper at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, features Barbara Hepworth's, Reconstruction, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © Bowness, Hepworth Estate
People on Paper at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, features Barbara Hepworth’s, Reconstruction, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © Bowness, Hepworth Estate

Bringing some of the finest drawings in the Arts Council Collection to Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, People on Paper includes artworks by Frank Auerbach, Peter Blake, Lucian Freud, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, L S Lowry and Henry Moore, to name a few.

Artists have been drawing the figure for centuries, from carefully composed life drawings to people caught unawares at leisure or work

Though there are sometimes surprising similarities across the decades, there is also a great diversity of techniques and approaches. The majority are drawn from observation, though some are from memory or imagination; some are unfinished studies while others are finished works in their own right. On the 18 November you can join Arts Council Collection Curator, Ann Jones at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, as she leads a walking tour of this show, which draws together artwork by British artists of the last 100 years. You can book your ticket here

// The Emperor and the Nightingale and The Secret Life of Suitcases, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, from 25 November

The Secret Life of Suitcases at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, from 13 - 23 December

The Secret Life of Suitcases at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, from 13 – 23 December

This Winter treat the whole family to two outstanding family-friendly performances at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake on the shores of Derwentwater. The Emperor and the Nightingale is set in ancient China. The young emperor Wu is kept a virtual prisoner in his palace by his scheming guardian, Li Si. For Wu, the world outside the Forbidden City is a dangerous place. But when he hears Xiao, a young peasant girl, talk of the most beautiful sound on earth – the song of the nightingale – it’s too much to resist.

From the 13 – 23 December enjoy The Secret Life of Suitcases. Larry works in an office and he likes it very much. He likes sorting and tidying and generally putting things in order. Everything in its place, a place for everything. But one day, a suitcase suddenly appears at his door. A suitcase with a tiny label. A tiny label with Larry’s name on it. And this suitcase has a mission. A funny and enchanting show with renowned Scottish puppeteer Ailie Cohen. (Suitable for ages 4+).

Remember you can enjoy a pre-theatre meal at Theatre by the Lake’s new Café by the Lake – a lofty, light and airy place to dine with spectacular views across the lake to Cat Bells and beyond.

// Kendal Mountain Festival, Kendal, 17 – 20 November

Tommy Caldwell at Kendal Mountain Festival 2015
Tommy Caldwell at Kendal Mountain Festival 2015

Kendal Mountain Festival is the world’s biggest mountain festival. It’s a celebration of mountain film, literature, art, athletes and legends that aims to inspire more people to explore, enjoy and represent mountains, wilderness and their cultures.

Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts plus media industry specialists, athletes, top brands & equipment manufacturers, artists, photographers, adventurers, explorers and inspirational speakers gather every year to share adventures and celebrate the very best in outdoor and adventure sports culture.

At the heart of its rich programme is the International Film Competition, attracting premières from around the world – it has been called the ‘Oscars of outdoor filmmaking’. Over 70 films are screened (from 200+ entries) with eleven coveted awards up for grabs. However, Kendal Mountain Festival is not all extreme action – you can experience culture, drama, wildlife and environmental documentaries, plus the world’s largest lecture programme covering outdoor content.

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To enjoy these Lakes cultural events and much more, book your break in the Lake District here