Introducing 5 minutes with Adrian Lochhead

Adrian Lochhead, Director of Eden Arts C-Art Open Studios road sign 2015 Eden Arts - Winter Droving extravaganza in Penrith (photo John Burrows) Eden Arts - Picnic Cinema Withnail & I presented by Eden Arts Picnic Cinema at Uncle Monty’s fell side cottage

Introducing 5 minutes with… Adrian Lochhead..

Who is… Director of Eden Arts, the artist-led organisation behind C-Art based in Eden in Cumbria that creates and cooks up all sorts of cultural events and activities…

Tell us more… we do all sorts of things from literature to performance through visual arts and town centre events. Our ‘big’ things are C-Art – Cumbria’s biggest visual arts event featuring exhibitions and open studios and commissions; the Winter Droving, Penrith’s signature event in November featuring fire and masks, music and street entertainment and a delicious market; and Picnic Cinema which is now the north’s number one outdoor cinema, touring to castles and forests and country houses and hosting arty cinema parties (including the hugely popular showings of Withnail & I at the fell-side cottage – Uncle Monty’s – where the film was made).

We also run New Writing Cumbria featuring an online magazine The Carrot; and we do lots of other things too… gigs, events, interventions…

Why is this special to you… well I’m very big on the idea that art and culture should be ‘useful’ rather than just decorative, so it’s special to me that there were over 40,000 visits to C-Art events over the last year and that £140k of Cumbrian artists work was sold and that the winner of our Young Cumbrian Artist of the Year tells us it made him feel validated (and that his mum cried). Our Picnic Cinema events are an alternative cultural activity, the Winter Droving is again a major success, making people happy, boosting the local economy – these things are very special.

What can audiences expect… hopefully, the unexpected! Quality, fun, unusual and useful should be present in spades in all of our events.

If you could name only 3 unmissable cultural hot spots or events in the Lakes – what would they be…

  • Agricultural shows – all great, traditional and a bit bonkers fun, bit like 1950’s promotional films with tannoy commentaries by knowledgeable land-folk, cross-dressing farmers etc.
  • Coniston Institute – art as function and beautifully done.
  • Lakes International Comic Art Festival – a great addition to our calendar, we need more culturally progressive things here!
  • Big shout out for the AND Festival in Grizedale too!

In a nutshell how would you describe the cultural offer in the Lakes… I’d say that it is steady and traditional and in a beautiful place, we need to keep progressing so that our young people stay here or return back here with lots of new ideas (that we don’t block!)

And after a cultural adventure in the Lakes, where would be your ideal place to eat or stay… Waking up gently worse for wear in a bow-top, either at my mates Dreamtime Film at Newby Bridge or one supplied by Wanderlusts Gypsy Caravans near Penrith.

And we just have to ask.. if you could choose one view in the Lakes where would that be… I’m pretty happy standing on any of the piers on Ullswater.

Ullswater (photo Tony West, Cumbria Tourism)
Ullswater (photo Tony West, Cumbria Tourism)

C-Art 2015 Open Studios takes place from 12 – 27 September.

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