Think of Cumbria and what springs to mind? A rural retreat complete with hearty hikes and snug pubs? If these are the images scudding across your mind’s eye, you’d not be wrong. Yet there are more things to do in Cumbria than its outdoor image might suggest. Tourism actually began here back in the 1700s, when clergyman Thomas West published a Guide to the Lakes. It banished forever the idea that Cumbria was wild and inhospitable. It’s thanks to West that when we think of the Lake District, we think of a chocolate-box landscape. Yet the ideal of the ‘picturesque’ is both a blessing and a curse: good for tourism, yet occasionally overshadowing the contemporary art that is made, performed and shown here year-round.
Cumbria is full of artists, from those taking part in the C-Art fest to those exhibiting at Blackwell and Abbot Hall; for them, the landscape’s ability to turn in a moment from benign beauty to lowering skies continues to inspire. It is this that has piqued our interest – and will, we hope, keep yours.
Cumbria’s Aerial Festival has commissioned musicians, writers and filmmakers to create new work, for online release this September.
Wild Beasts frontman Hayden Thorpe has been commissioned by Aerial Festival to create a collection of new songs inspired by the South Lakes.
Join Stuart Maconie, Helen Mort, Jack Cooper, and Roy Wilkinson for a unique collission of sounds and words.
Lone Taxidermist presents ‘Marra’: a deep interrogation into the dialect and ceremonies of West Cumbria, endangered voices and esoteric rituals from auctioneers to gurners.
Autumn Richardson and Richard Skelton celebrate 10 years of their work at Corbel Stone Press – one of the foremost small presses in the UK dedicated to landscape and the natural world.
Cross Lane Projects in Kendal presents a quietly deep meditation on the politics and social-environmental fabric of the Lake District National Park.
Celebrate the spirit of adventure, learn more about the Cumbrian landscape and uncover the inspiration behind Arthur Ransome’s classic tale.
Cross Lane Projects presents ‘Off Grid’ – a solo exhibition of new work by Olivia Bax, winner of the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2019/20.