10/12/19 PRESS RELEASE: Lakeland Arts’ exhibitions for 2020

10 December 2019 

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Swallows and Amazons, Arts & Crafts of Politics, House of the Setting Sun

Lakeland Arts has revealed key highlights from its exciting 2020 programme of exhibitions. 

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories sees a celebration of English author Arthur Ransome. Swallows and Amazons opens in March and runs until 2021.

The adventure theme will be explored across the entire site and see family activities, adult masterclasses, film screenings to performances of the classic Arthur Ransome story. 

See the boats Swallow and Amazon from the 2016 feature film and early sketches made by the author.

The Museum will celebrate its first birthday on 23 March and hopes to mark this with a fully restored 1930 motor launch returning to the water for passengers to enjoy trips on around the lake.
Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, will launch 2020 with The Arts & Crafts of Politics. This exhibition will explore the political lives, activism and designs of Walter Crane and William Morris.

It features three new commissions from contemporary artists working with community groups. Samra Mayanja, Sam Pickett and Julia Parks worked with groups to respond through art to the current political and cultural climate.

The big summer show at Blackwell: House of the Setting Sun opens in May and coincides with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This exhibition is a celebration of Japanese culture, creativity and the relationship with the British Arts & Crafts Movement.

The art and architecture of Japan had a resounding influence on the Arts & Crafts Movement here. The British Movement then inspired a later Arts & Crafts resurgence in Japan in the early Twentieth Century.

On display is a stunning set of woodblock prints, jewellery and contemporary ceramics by Japanese and British artists including Bernard Leach - who is seen as the father of British studio pottery. Several kimonos - a traditional Japanese garment - will also wow visitors.

Head of Curatorial Kerri Offord said: “The 2020 programme sees Lakeland Arts delving into its collections and unveiling art which has not widely been seen before.

“At Blackwell House of the Setting Sun offers a rare chance for visitors to see our stunning Japanese woodblock prints. These were made in the 1790s-1830s and include work by artists such as Utagawa Kuniyoshi - one of the last great masters of the ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints and painting.

“At Windermere Jetty we’ll have a celebration of everything Swallows and Amazons. Visitors can learn how Arthur Ransome’s original manuscript was transformed into a major film.”
At both Blackwell and Windermere Jetty there will be a busy events and activity programme which will complement and further explore the exhibitions and collections.

In February 2020 both Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry will close as Lakeland Arts embarks on a £9.6m redevelopment of the Abbot Hall site. Both venues are planned to re-open in 2022.
Abbot Hall will temporarily re-open for three days in June for FOLDED (18-20 June). This exhibition will explore ideas of closure of a space and the traces left behind. The exhibition will be an immersive experience and celebration of the creativity in our community.

FOLDED is a community project which brings together work made by people from across Cumbria, including community groups, schools, emerging artists at Kendal College, University of Cumbria and local artist Hannah Fox.

Full Lakeland Arts exhibitions listings 2020:

Abbot Hall Art Gallery (closes 1 Feb 2020)

Colour and Light: The Art and Influence of the Scottish Colourists – Highlights from the Fleming Collection

Until 1 Feb 2020

Exhibition features masterpieces from the renowned collection of Scottish art. Abbot Hall Art Gallery will present works by the Scottish Colourists in its last major exhibition before it closes for redevelopment. The Scottish Colourists were a group of four painters whose post-Impressionist work had far-reaching influence on contemporary British art and culture.

Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House:

The Arts & Crafts of Politics

24 January 2020 to 19 April 2020

Exhibition exploring the political lives, activism and designs of Walter Crane and William Morris. The exhibition will integrate the work made by community partners in the exhibition and around Blackwell, with activity spaces created for visitors to participate in their own form of political activism inspired by the Arts & Crafts Movement. 

House of the Setting Sun

1 May 2020 to 14 March 2021

A celebration of Japanese culture, creativity and the relationship with the Arts & Crafts Movement. The art and architecture of Japan had a resounding influence on the Arts & Crafts Movement, while the British Movement inspired a later Arts & Crafts resurgence in Japan in the early Twentieth Century. This festival, coinciding with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the British Council organised UK in Japan 2019-2020 programme. A series of displays and events will be programmed at Blackwell throughout the festival.

Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry (closes 1 Feb 2020)

LGBT+: Within and Beyond

until 1 February 2020

Lakeland Arts is embarking on a project to uncover the history of Cumbria’s LGBT community. The stories of LGBT+ people are currently under-represented in Lakeland Arts’ collections. Curators want that to change and an initial display opening in Kendal marks the start of a long-term project. This initial display brings together existing objects and stories, but does not pretend to give a comprehensive account of LGBT+ history in Cumbria. It aims to invite visitors to help build and diversify perspectives.

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories

Nature's Winter

29 November 2019 to 1 March 2020

This exciting and immersive installation exploring nature and weather through a sensory experience of light, sound and story, is perfect for families. It is designed to encourage people to slow down and enjoy the details in the world around us.

Swallows and Amazons

13 March 2020 until February 2021

A summer season of Swallows and Amazons at Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories. See props from the 2016 feature film. See Swallow and Amazon from the film on our Boathouse. Get up close to Arthur Ransome’s sailing boat and learn about his influences through his sketches and notebooks.

Notes to editors:

Lakeland Arts:

Lakeland Arts has a portfolio of galleries and museums in the Lake District. It’s venues are Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry, Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House. A new museum: Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories opened in March 2019. 

Abbot Hall Art Gallery: 

Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal opened in 1962. It has built up an outstanding collection and a strong reputation for showing exhibitions of national and international artists of the highest quality. In 2018 it showed work ranging from Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin to contemporary artists Elisabeth Frink and Alison Watt. The gallery and surrounding estate will undergo a major redevelopment planned to start in 2020.

Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry:

Abbot Hall also houses the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry in the former coach house and stables. The Museum opened in 1971. Immerse yourself in Lake District history, discover the region’s past in farming, mining and tanning. Find out about Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome and stroll down a Victorian Street. The Museum also has a regular programme of exhibitions.

Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House:

Blackwell is situated in Bowness-on-Windermere and is architect MH Baillie Scott's greatest house. Built as a Lake District rural holiday retreat for the Manchester brewery owner, Sir Edward Holt, today it is an outstanding example of an Arts & Crafts House. Retaining most of its original decorative features. It is a perfect setting for exhibitions of historical and contemporary craft. 

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories:

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories opened on 23 March 2019. Designed by Carmody Groarke architects, this is a new world-class museum in a stunning setting on Windermere displaying an internationally important collection of boats which are all associated with Windermere. The National Lottery Heritage Fund is the major funder for the Museum. Grants are made possible by National Lottery players. The project is also supported by Regional Growth Fund and Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund. 


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