Lake District Events Calendar 2018

RUUP by Birgit Õigus in Grizedale Forest (photograph by Amelia Harvey) Dove Cottage in Grasmere Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal (photo by Tony West) Grayson Perry © Katie Hyams and Living Architecture Auguste Rodin, The Thinker, 1880-81, The Burrell Collection © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection Brantwood overlooking Coniston Water Drawing by Sarah Casey for the Ruskin's Good Looking! exhibition at Brantwood Some Fern by Kerry Morrison (1997) - Grizedale Forest Sculpture Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House near Windermere

Diaries at the ready for ongoing outstanding culture in the beautiful Lake District! With its vibrant literary legacy and the UK’s first forest for sculpture, this celebrated cultural landscape provides an abundance of inspiration and exploration throughout the year.

2018 saw the return of Lakes Ignite, from January to July, with six specially commissioned contemporary artworks inspired by the Lake District’s UNESCO World Heritage designation. You can still spark your imagination with Lakes Ignite 2018 and visit Mountains We Made at Grizedale Forest and the Arctic Char at Ambleside Salutation.

If you fancy more Cumbrian cultural delights, this season promises an impressive line-up of unmissable art, theatre and festivals!

From celebrations of classic literature and classical music to international comic art creativity and world-class contemporary art – there’s some Lakes Culture for everyone!

So check out these great things to do in the Lake District and start planning your Lakes Culture adventure today…

// RUUP by Birgit Õigus, Grizedale Forest, Hawkshead, Sat Nav Postcode: LA22 0QJ

From September 2018

RUUP by Birgit Õigus in Grizedale Forest (photograph by Amelia Harvey)
RUUP by Birgit Õigus in Grizedale Forest (photograph by Amelia Harvey)

To celebrate Grizedale Forest’s 50th Anniversary of arts and creativity in the forest, the Forestry Commission and Lakes Alive Festival have co-commissioned RUUP by Estonian artist Birgit Õigus. Located on the Carron Crag Trail, one of 8 walking trails, in this impressively scenic woodland landscape, RUUP is derived from the Estonian word Ruupor which translates as megaphone. The sculptures respond to the Lake District location creating structures intended to encourage people to pause and listen to the sounds of the forest, to act as shelters for walkers and also become mini stages for live performances.

Set in the heart of the Lake District National Park – a UNESCO world heritage site – Grizedale Forest was the first place in the UK to develop art in the landscape and is ‘the UK’s first forest for sculpture’. You can enjoy RUUP and over 50 other artworks in the almost 25 km² of woodland throughout the year at Grizedale Forest.

Find out more here

// WHERE POPPIES BLOW, Wordsworth House & Gardens, Cockermouth

Saturday 10 March to Sunday 28 October 2018

Join former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion at a Thursday evening talk at Wordsworth House in Cockermouth
Join former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion at a Thursday evening talk at Wordsworth House in Cockermouth

A special exhibition commemorating the end of the Great War and celebrating the role of nature in helping sustain Britain’s troops through the horrors of battle. Where Poppies Blow also includes a season of evening talks, on Thursday 7 June, former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion will share his love of First World War poet Edward Thomas, author of Adelstrop, and read from his own forthcoming verse memoir, Essex Clay.

This fascinating series of Thursday evening talks take place in the atmospheric dining room of Wordsworth House, on 19 April, 10 May, 7 June and 20 September – for further details and tickets please visit the National Trust website

Where Poppies Blow will be open from 11am to 4pm every day except Friday, from Saturday 10 March to Sunday 28 October 2018. Entry is free with admission to the house and garden.

Find out more here

// 2018 SUMMER SEASON, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

24 May – November 2018

Summer Season 2018 at Theatre by the Lake
Summer Season 2018 at Theatre by the Lake

The Summer Season 2018 at Theatre by the Lake is once again set to stage a spectacular selection of home-grown productions, including vintage comedy, an adaptation of a much-loved novel and an acclaimed double bill from one of Britain’s finest playwrights. The three Main House productions are:

// Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense – a play from the works of P.G. Wodehouse by The Goodale Brothers in which three actors play a multitude of characters in an inventive and totally bonkers send-up of Wodehouse’s iconic double act.
// Single Spies by Alan Bennett – one of Britain’s best loved playwrights turns his attention to the Cambridge spy scandal of the 50s, with two beautifully written comic vignettes (An Englishman Abroad and A Question of Attribution) which shed light on the fascinating characters of Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt.
// Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility adapted by Jessica Swale – a sparkling tale of the Dashwood sisters and affairs of the heart in a gorgeous adaptation by the Olivier award-winning playwright who adapted Theatre by the Lake’s Christmas show The Secret Garden.

The Studio productions are a world premiere of Rails by Simon Longman, telling the story of two bored and lonely teens whose lives collide over the course of a long hot summer and Bold Girls by Rona Munro, set in Belfast in the early 90s, Bold Girls explores female friendship against the backdrop of a city in upheaval.

Find out more here

// ELISABETH FRINK: FRAGILITY AND POWER, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal

22 June until 29 September

Elisabeth Frink, Goggle Head, © Frink Estate and Archive executors. Courtesy of The Ingram Collection
Elisabeth Frink, Goggle Head, © Frink Estate and Archive executors. Courtesy of The Ingram Collection

This summer Abbot Hall Art Gallery presents a major exhibition of work by emotive sculptor Dame Elisabeth Frink – a quarter of a century after her death. Featuring bronze sculptures, maquettes and works on paper made throughout the artist’s career, the exhibition celebrates one of the most exciting sculptors of the twentieth century.

The exhibition coincides with another Abbot Hall show which focuses on Frink’s greatest influence – Auguste Rodin. Rodin: rethinking the fragment runs from 10 August to 27 October and explores how Rodin, the originator of modern sculpture, was inspired by art of ancient Greece and Rome. Rethinking the fragment will feature The Thinker, on loan from the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, alongside three objects from the British Museum.

Both exhibitions will be the subject of two evening lectures at Abbot Hall – Elisabeth Frink and her Influences takes place on 13 September and Auguste Rodin and his Influences on 27 September. Both start at 6pm. Standard admission for each talk is £15/Friends £10. Book on both lectures for £20/Friends £15.

Find out more here

// THIS GIRL DID: DOROTHY WORDSWORTH & WOMEN MOUNTAINEERS, Wordsworth Museum, Dove Cottage, Grasmere

1 September – 23 December

Louise Ann Wilson's 'Dorothy's Room' - art installation for This Girl Did
Louise Ann Wilson’s ‘Dorothy’s Room’ – art installation for This Girl Did

200 years ago, on October 7 1818, Dorothy Wordsworth climbed England’s tallest peak: Scafell Pike, with her friend Miss Barker. Dorothy’s manuscript description of the climb, held at the Wordsworth Trust, in which she describes her friend Miss Barker as ‘an active Climber of the hills’, is among the earliest surviving accounts of this feat. By the end of the 19th century Scafell Pike would be recognised as a favourite among British climbers and mountaineers. Dorothy Wordsworth and Miss Barker were one of many women who participated in the ‘invention’ of mountaineering during the Romantic-period

Using Dorothy Wordsworth’s 1818 account of climbing Scafell Pike as a starting point, this exhibition explores how Dorothy inspired, and continues to inspire, people to find new ways of looking at mountains: not about conquering the mountain, but the journey.

Featuring Dorothy’s own manuscript letter describing her ascent of Scafell Pike, alongside contemporary creative responses, this major exhibition includes; a creative film by Jago Miller and Richard Berry, premiered at Kendal Mountain Festival, that reimagines Dorothy’s ascent of Scafell Pike on the bicentenary of her climb; an immersive creative exploration by Alex Jakob-Whitworth of Dorothy’s life that will result in new artworks, and in a celebratory ascent of Skiddaw.

Find out more about the special events, talks and walks accompanying the This Girl Did exhibition here

// THE SIMPSONS: AN ARTS & CRAFTS FAMILY, Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere

21 September 2018 to 6 January 2019

Wood carving by Arthur Simpson in the Main Hall at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House (photograph by Florence Acland)
Wood carving by Arthur Simpson in the Main Hall at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House (photograph by Florence Acland)

Showcasing one of the most creative family enterprises in both Cumbrian and Arts & Crafts history, The Simpsons: An Arts & Crafts Family explores the Simpson family’s craftsmanship throughout Blackwell and presents work by Arthur Simpson, one of the master craftsmen of the movement.

The exhibition offers visitors the chance to see rarely displayed items from the Lakeland Arts collection including textiles, embroidery, leatherwork, furniture, wood carving, original drawings and designs. It also features a selection of loans from Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery as well as several unseen pieces from private collections.

Find out more here

// INSTALLATION: ‘WOMEN’S WALKS TO REMEMBER’, Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, Lake District

September 2018

Louise Ann Wilson has created a new art installation, as part of This Girl Did, that celebrates the walking-lives of Lake District women, the importance of landscape and remembering, and the longing to walk.

Louise is seeking to capture memories of walks from individuals who are no longer able to undertake them, and in turn will undertake that walk to bring ‘treasures’ – sights, sounds, words and objects – back to them.

Find out more here

// RODIN: RETHINKING THE FRAGMENT, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal

10 August until 27 October

Auguste Rodin, The Thinker, 1880-81, The Burrell Collection © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection
Auguste Rodin, The Thinker, 1880-81, The Burrell Collection © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

This autumn Abbot Hall Art Gallery Kendal presents one of Auguste Rodin’s most iconic works – The Thinker. This striking sculpture is on loan from the Burrell Collection in Glasgow and takes centre stage in an exhibition exploring how the French sculptor (1840-1917) studied the fragments of ancient Greece and Rome, converting the limbless, headless torso into a new art genre.

Abbot Hall focus on the father of modern sculpture’s influences and in turn his influence on Elisabeth Frink through their parallel exhibition Elisabeth Frink: Fragility and Power.

Abbot Hall Art Gallery, located in the heart of the scenic Lake District town of Kendal, is the very first venue in the country to host this British Museum Partnership Spotlight Loan, displaying Rodin’s The Thinker alongside three objects from the British Museum. This is the first time Roman Art has been on show at Abbot Hall, revealing objects that shed light on the influence of classical antiquity on Rodin.

Find out more here

// GRAYSON PERRY IN-FOCUS DISPLAY, Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere, Lake District

21 September 2018 to 6 January 2019

Grayson Perry, Melanie, 2014 - York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery) © York Museums Trust/Grayson Perry
Grayson Perry, Melanie, 2014 – York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery) © York Museums Trust/Grayson Perry

Complementing the exhibition of stunning Grayson Perry tapestries at Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal this season, Blackwell features three spotlight loans which will be displayed in this unique Arts & Crafts setting.

Included are Melanie (2014) on loan from York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery), Mad Kid’s Bedroom Wall Pot (1996) on loan from the Crafts Council, and Christening Pot, on loan from a private collection.

Find out more here

// THE LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL, various venues in Kendal

12 – 14 October 2018

Artwork for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2018 by Petteri Tikkanen
Artwork for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2018 by Petteri Tikkanen

For creative KERPOW – make a date in your diary for LICAF 2018! The only event of its kind in the UK celebrating the best comic art from around the world. The festival takes over the beautiful town of Kendal on the edge of the Lakes for a full weekend of exhibitions, live draws, masterclasses, trails, films, workshops and more!

Find out more here

// NEW LIGHT: THE FOURTH BIENNIAL PRIZE EXHIBITION, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle

13 October 2018 – 27 January 2019

Jan Huntley-Peace, To Drink at a Pool Quietly, Porcelain and goldleaf
Jan Huntley-Peace, To Drink at a Pool Quietly, Porcelain and goldleaf

An exhibition shining a light on northern artistic talent heads back north after a successful northern tour and a show at London’s Bankside Gallery. The exhibition, which has been delighting audiences with its eclectic mix of paintings, sculpture, prints and drawings, opens at Tullie House Museum and Gallery for its grand finale before the works return to the artists or the collectors who have added a new piece to their collections or ‘bought into’ contemporary art for the first time.

The artworks, all for sale, range from the hyperreal to the purely abstract, from printmaking to sculpture. This high-profile exhibition celebrates contemporary artists at all stages of their career, from emerging talent to esteemed Royal Academicians, and from all corners of the North of England.

Find out more here

// WINTER DROVING, Penrith

27 October 2018

Eden Arts - Winter Droving extravaganza in Penrith (photo John Burrows)
Eden Arts – Winter Droving extravaganza in Penrith (photo John Burrows)

The Winter Droving is a magical festival in Penrith that celebrates all things rural, traditional and fun. The festival features street performances, local markets, dog fancy dress and the event highlight… a torch lit procession through the town featuring fire, lanterns, masquerade, music and mayhem.

Find out more here

PERCY KELLY: A LEGACY, Tullie House, Carlisle, Cumbria

3 November 2018 – 24 February 2019

Farm Buildings at Allonby, watercolour, © estate of Percy Kelly
Farm Buildings at Allonby, watercolour, © estate of Percy Kelly

Following the success of Percy Kelly: Line of Beauty, Tullie House is hosting an intimate exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of artist Percy Kelly, who was born on 3 November 1918 in Workington, Cumberland.

Percy Kelly: A Legacy, will showcase bequests and gifts to the Percy Kelly Collection. The artworks will be on display in the Special Exhibitions Gallery in, the Grade I Listed, Old Tullie House building – the very room in which Kelly would have attended life drawing classes as a student, when the building was part of Carlisle College of Art.

Find out more here

// JULIE COPE’S GRAND TOUR: THE STORY OF A LIFE BY GRAYSON PERRY, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria

Friday 9 November 2018 until Saturday 16 February

Grayson Perry Portrait, © Katie Hyams and Living Architecture
Grayson Perry Portrait, © Katie Hyams and Living Architecture

This winter Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry’s tapestries come to Kendal as part of a Crafts Council touring exhibition supported by Art Fund. Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: The Story of a Life by Grayson Perry provides an unmissable opportunity to see two of Perry’s giant tapestries on display in the intimate gallery spaces at Abbot Hall. This will be the first time that works by the Turner Prize winning artist have been exhibited in Kendal.

The tapestries are shown alongside a graphic installation, and specially commissioned audio recording The Ballad of Julie Cope, a 3000 word narrative written and read by Perry himself that illuminates Julie’s hopes and fears as she journeys through life.

Born in Chelmsford, Essex, in 1960, Perry is a chronicler of contemporary life, drawing us in with affecting sentiment and nostalgia as well as, at times, fear and anger. His work tackles subjects that are universally human: gender, social status, sexuality, religion.

Also don’t miss the chance to see a selection of Grayson Perry’s ceramics in the delightful setting at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House in Bowness-on-Windermere, from 21 September 2018 to 6 January 2019.

Find out more here

// A VERY PERRY CHRISTMAS, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria

12 November to 21 December

Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal (photo by Tony West)
Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal (photo by Tony West)

To get you in a fabulous festive mood In the run-up to Christmas Abbot Hall is staging ‘A Very Perry Christmas’. You will have a creative opportunity to make wonderfully wacky, colourful garlands and decorations inspired by the work of Grayson Perry to decorate the Lakeland Arts tree at Abbot Hall or to take home. The activity is self-guided in the Art Studio and free with Gallery admission.

Find out more here

// KENDAL MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL – Various venues in Kendal

15 – 18 November 2018

Kendal Mountain Festival (photo Stuart Holmes Photography)
Kendal Mountain Festival (photo Stuart Holmes Photography)

The award-winning Kendal Mountain Festival is the UK’s premier mountain film festival and is the most diverse event for outdoor enthusiasts in the world.

Find out more here

// MORE LAKES CULTURE

For the year-round cultural offer in the Lake District check out our Top 20 Things to do in the Lake District

// DATES FOR 2019

// RUSKIN’S GOOD LOOKING! ABSENCE AND PRESENCE IN JOHN RUSKIN’S CLOTHING – Brantwood, Coniston

6 February – 7 April 2019

Drawing by Sarah Casey for the Ruskin's Good Looking! exhibition at Brantwood
Drawing by Sarah Casey for the Ruskin’s Good Looking! exhibition at Brantwood

Sarah Casey has been artist in residence at Brantwood throughout 2018 and the timely opening of the resulting exhibition on 6 February 2019 marks the 200th Anniversary of Ruskin’s birth on 8th February 1819.

Ruskin thought of architectural and natural ornament as forms of dress which simultaneously cloak and reveal. Ruskin’s Good Looking! puts this premise to the test. Sarah applies Ruskin’s ideas about drawing to explore the details of his own clothes and to uncover material ‘clues’ of Ruskin’s life embedded in his christening clothes, dress suit, his signature necktie and hat. It is the first time that these garments have been visually examined through drawing. Sarah’s delicate and elusive drawings ask: at what point does visibility disappear and drawing become immaterial? Her practice reflects a fascination with the unseen, untouchable and unspoken.

The exhibition and supporting catalogue will aim to provide new evidence for the value of drawing as a research method, contributing to a growing debate within studies of material culture. Amongst the series of new large-scale drawings that Sarah has produced for the exhibition is one of Ruskin’s christening robe – worn by Ruskin at his christening 13 days after his birth.

Find out more here

// KENDAL CALLING, Lowther Deer Park, Penrith

25 – 28 July 2019

Kendal Calling
Kendal Calling

See you in the fields for Kendal Calling 2019… the multi award-winning independent festival of music, arts, food & drink has announced the dates for 2019. With previous headliners including Elbow, Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Happy Mondays and 18 stages filled with everything from disco to folk it’s set to be yet another amazing weekend in the stunning surroundings of the Lake District National Park.

Find out more here