Women’s Work: Showcasing the Modern day Beatrix Potter

Women’s Work by Freya Pocklington Beatrix Potter's Hill Top home at Near Sawrey (photo National Trust)

Women’s Work is a new exhibition this autumn by Freya Pocklington, showcasing artworks of several modern day Beatrix Potters, to celebrate 150 years since her birth.

Women’s Work showcases Cumbria’s modern day Beatrix Potters with new exhibitions at Acorn Bank and Hill Top

South Lakes born, London based artist Freya Pocklington has been commissioned by the National Trust, as part of its Trust New Art programme, to produce Women’s Work. The artworks will be exhibited at two of the National Trust’s properties in Cumbria – Acorn Bank and Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s farmhouse.

// Women’s Work at Acorn Bank, Temple Sowerby, Cumbria, 2 September – 27 November 2016

The drawings were developed by Freya earlier this year as part of the Dorothy Una Ratcliffe Fellowship, an ongoing programme of work by contemporary artists taking place at Acorn Bank, encouraging them to develop new work inspired by the Cumbrian landscape. Visitors will now be able to see eight large drawings in situ at Acorn Bank.

// Women’s Work at Hill Top, Near Sawrey, Hawkshead, Cumbria, 17 September – 20 October 2016

Women’s Work will also feature at Hill Top this autumn: this is the first time the National Trust has displayed a contemporary exhibition inside Beatrix Potter’s original home.

My aim was to celebrate the achievements of women aged 35+ working with animals that are underrepresented in portraiture. All the ladies in Women’s Work started in a totally different career and none came from a farming background. I found this really interesting and very comparable to Beatrix Potter – Freya Pocklington

Freya’s exhibition depicts women working within the Lake District in a range of different farming and conservation roles. All the women balance farming and conservation, in order to shape the landscape and care for the environment. It includes drawings of Val Sullivan, a beekeeper who started her career as a doctor; Victoria Smith who has a unique horse whisperer gift and Susan Aglionby who farms organic long horn cattle near Carlisle.

Women’s Work by Freya Pocklington exhibition at Acorn Bank and Hill Top
Women’s Work by Freya Pocklington exhibition is at Acorn Bank and Hill Top in Cumbria from September

Women’s Work is at Acorn Bank from 2 September – 27 November 2016

Women’s Work is at Hill Top from 17 September – 20 October 2016

Find out more about Freya Pocklington here


Acorn Bank is a tranquil haven at the heart of the Eden Valley, with spectacular views to the Lake District. It was donated to the National Trust in 1950 by the traveller, writer and patron of the arts, Dorothy Una Ratcliffe, and has an almost forgotten industrial past. Its wide estate has hidden gypsum-mining remains and an abundance of wildlife. The walled gardens shelter a medicinal herb collection and traditional orchards. Woodland paths along Crowdundle Beck lead to the watermill, now working again after more than 70 years. The unfurnished 17th-century sandstone house is partially open to the public while restoration work progresses.

Hill Top is Beatrix Potter’s 17th-century farmhouse: a time-capsule of her life and her spiritual home. Packed full of her favourite things, the house appears as if Beatrix had just stepped out for a walk. Every room contains a reference to a picture in a ‘tale’. As you stroll up the garden path, imagine playful Tom Kitten or Jemima Puddleduck hunting for a place to lay her eggs. The lovely garden is a haphazard mix of flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetables and there’s a working farm next door. In the heart of Near Sawrey village, you’ll see why Beatrix loved this place.

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