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.
Fast becoming a benchmark for aspiring Cumbrian artists, the C-Art Cumbrian Artist of the Year exhibition is not to be missed.
International artist Miroslaw Balka reflects on the connection between Cumbria and the Holocaust.
A magical story about the rejuvenating powers of nature and friendship – a perfect Christmas outing.
An exhibition highlighting the diverse skills of the women artists and designers associated with the Arts & Crafts Movement, who were often overlooked.
See over 70 works by over 40 leading artists including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Graham Sutherland and Laura Knight in this fascinating collection.
So good that 2017’s edition sold out before the line-up was announced, snap up your tickets for 2018 fast.