Grizedale Arts

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Through these blogs we are trying to make the organization and our way of working more accessible.
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Tuesday 24 January '12
(from Grizedale Arts Blog)

From 1 to 9

Our lonely pig Octavia has found herself suddenly kicked out of her palatial home and grounds, and into a smaller field with makeshift arc, to make way for a herd of 8 new pigs. They're a very rowdy bunch and full of lice and worms (and God knows what else) and are very malnourished. The renegade 8 were found abandoned in a nearby car park last week by our neighbour farmer John,but with no ear tags, it was impossible to trace where they came from. John had no room on his farm so we decided to home them. Judging by the state of them (I've never seen protruding spines, ribs and hip bones on pigs) I guess whoever had them didn't know what was involved in keeping them or just didn't care. I think they are actually mico-pigs. Not the cute ones everyone imagines mico-pigs to be, but the things they grow into. They are smaller than most pigs but still above knee high and pretty ugly! They are 'micro-pigs' because they breed runts with runts, ie. the unhealthiest in the litter of any breed. You can see in these ones bits of Tamworth, Saddleback and maybe a bit of Berkshire or Large Black. It could be that someone stole a couple, thinking they could breed them and make a ton of money. A rare breed pig like our British Lop, bought as a weaner, costs about £60. Mico-pigs cost about £600! However, unless you have registered the pigs and have them ear tagged, you can't sell them on or take them to slaughter. You can't even legally move them without the right paper work. The animal welfare people at DEFRA have let us register these pigs with our own herd mark so we can legally move them and take them to slaughter when the time comes (if I can get them healthy enough).

In the mean time, the BBC are coming up to Lawson Park with their cameras, so who knows, maybe someone watching will identify the rogue owner!

1 Comment

Nice Post.. I would love to involve this Mico-Pigs to my farm. I really like the behavior of the pig. Thanks for sharing.


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Monday 23 January '12
(from Grizedale Arts Blog)

Field of Dreams

Wolmsley+Cricket+Pavilion+-+for+real
Wolmsley Cricket Pavilion - for real

A recent dinner in Norwich with my favourite nature guru Richard Mabey brought to my attention a utopian cricket ground that could influence our own endeavours to revision the home of cricket in our local village of Coniston: Sir Paul Getty's 'cottage ornee' cricket pavilion set in the heart of the woods of the Chilterns (that's the bit soon to be changed by high-speed rail).

We won't quite have Getty's budget but we may well have his gumption.

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Monday 23 January '12
(from Grizedale Arts Blog)

Coniston plus Tate

Last week we hosted the directors of the Plus Tate group  - a network of the UK’s 18 most dynamic art organisations that includes Tate, the Hepworth Wakefield, Turner Contemporary, Ikon Gallery Birmingham, Whitworth Art Gallery, Baltic and Grizedale Arts itself.

The annual seminar organised by Tate was hosted by Grizedale Arts throughout Coniston using the Coniston Institute, St Andrews Church, Brantwood, the Waterhead Hotel, Coniston launch and our headquarters at Lawson Park farm.

On the Wednesday evening the main hall of the Coniston Institute provided the backdrop for a grand dinner of 34 people comprising the directors of the Plus Tate group and the local “villager elders” who have been consistently volunteering over the last year towards the restoration of the historic Institute.

The dispersed nature of the seminar, was used to demonstrate the concept of the Village as Institution using what might be termed the Civic Framework, people and all, as the site for the conference. This is turn works to build a collective, social resource rather than a simple venue hire or site visit – using the village like one might use a work of art.

Throughout the three days the delegates ate menus that were made entirely from local produce and artists projects including local venison, Lawson Park pork, St James’ and Ruskin Blue cheese, wild grouse, Kathrin Bohm’s sauerkraut and Lawson Park grown vegetables and so on. Particularly popular were the dessert contributions of trifle, chocolate cake and lemon meringue pie created especially for the Tate by the village.

11 Comments

Is this a good use of public money?

John, that's an excellent question but best asked about the work of our bankers.

There is no wealth but life, John, remember?

I would say it's a very good use of public money. Directing money that would usually be spent on large corporate conference venues into local businesses, hotels, producers and at the same time demonstrating that rural communities under threat can have a viable economic future by maximising the use of the their resources and offering an experience that no one else can provide. Equally, in the other direction, each of the 18 institutions was enthused by the civic focus of Grizedale Arts and the strength of a programme designed around socio-economic development, rather than making art about art. If the world of bends more in this direction I'd say it's a bargain.

Not sure that those listed are "the UK's most dynamic art organisations...". It's a strange brew up of the good, the bad and the not so pretty. All are rubber stamped by ACE, so in a sense they are never going to be that radical....they're not allowed to be.

None of the people I know who live over Grizedale way no what the heck goes on there, how to get there, or what mysterious pleasures they undertake.

Very secretive, controlling foodies and the best arts organisation by far in Cumbria (is that feint praise? Hope not, but probably is) :)

Grizedale Arts are doing real life work in working with the strengths of the community and bringing it to life. The artists who have worked with the communities bring a new perspective and vigour to Lakeland life. Practical works are ensuring our future.

Well Kurt, I suppose it depends on who you know over Grizedale way. In the same way I know lots of people in London, Birmingham, Manchester etc who don't know what the heck is going on at their respective art organisations either and regard them accordingly as 'secretive' and mysterious, but that's a consumer choice. And hey when you were alive Kurt, know one knew you round Grizedale way either and most still don't. Such is art.

hi, i run a small arts gallery in Burslem, Stoke on Trent and have used Grizedale as an inspiration to create a sculpture trail. we too, want to include local businesses and produce, so was very interested to read about the village as institution. it seems that half of our city has been demolished.It's the artists that are motivated enough to pull us out from under the rubble and have the ability to signpost visitors to the remaining quality businesses

Consumer choice, not a great analogy to apply to art, but hey, it's the age we live in.
Problem with consumer choice is that choice is limited by knowledge of what's on offer. It's all in the communication, and who controls the flow. One can only take in what is given out....
Wish I wasn't so darn dead then I'd show you all a thing or two.
By the way, Dick, which Pearly Gate did you enter through?

It seems your very concerned about local employment and investment and rightly so, these are tough times in Cumbria and elsewhere. Its good to know you are shopping locally, great.
But going for a scone at a local tea shop with some chums from your institutional network along with some token volunteers, and then deeming this a political act is not really very substantial on its own.
I have to say, half the time this blog reads like a good housekeeping magazine.
Lets layout the basics here, how many people do you employ locally...actually? Or do you mainly just engage locals as volunteers?
What percentage of your invited artista are actually locally based? It seems by the look of your website very few. So is that aside from local economic issues for your?
Anyway, I imagine it must have been a very interesting series of meetings. When will you publish the minutes? This would for me be more insightful than what you ate. Or is it more about the representative gesture of using a village as an artwork? If so, Is the sculpture in the eating bit..or the regurgitating?
I also wonder if the hotel workers whose obligation it is to serve you, considered themselves apart of an artwork too.Hmmm..
Doubtful but i am sure they appreciated the money.

I was born and bred around Grizedale and lived there for over 25 years (moved away a couple of years ago, due to lack of jobs and affordable housing) and I too find that Grizedale Arts are mysterious and elitist.

I am interested in what they do and I work in the arts sector myself, but it seems that despite their bold community focused claims, it is still very much a ‘us’ and ‘them’ situation.


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Thursday 12 January '12
(from Grizedale Arts Blog)

New Green Woodwork

This project is about bringing coppice workers and contemporary designers together to develop a series of new products for local production and distribution.

The workshop programme offers coppice workers the opportunity to works with contemporary designers to develop affordable and locally produced furniture.

If you are a coppice worker or designer, please get in touch for more information on taking part in the 5 day design workshops. They run from Friday 17th – Tuesday 21st February 2012.

SATURDAY 18th February

Join us for a full day of  demonstrations, discussions and a conference on craft, design and the Utility Scheme.

10am – 2.30pm

A morning of demonstrations and talks at Witherslack Studios, led by Charlie Whinney.  You will meet the coppice workers and designers working collaboratively on New Green Wood Work designs.

3pm – 7pm

Conference at Blackwell, Arts and Crafts house in Windermere.

With talks from:

Dr Kathy Haslam (Blackwell’s Curator) - The philosophy and politics of the Arts & Crafts Movement and its contemporary relevance.

Ray Leigh (chairman of the Gordon Russell Trust, and former Design Director and Managing Director of Gordon Russell Ltd) – Gordon Russell and the Utility Scheme.

Keynote speech by product designer, Michael Marriott.

Questions and panel led open forum

 

Saturday 25th – Sunday 26th February

Green Wood Working Weekend - follow up production workshops

10am – 5pm

Weekend workshop in collaboration with Brantwood Estate where we will be making from scratch, items designed in the Witherslack workshops.

For more information of to book a place, please email maria@grizedale.org or call 015394 41050

 

2 Comments

Please god, not Blackwell! Will someone please plant a bomb under that modern day anachronism?!?


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Wednesday 4 January '12
(from Lawson Park Blog)

Local Bee-keeping Classes Starting Soon

Bee buddies
Bee buddies

Our Beemaster General, guru David Walmsley, kicks off a new season of bee-keeping classes on 4 Thursday evenings (7.30-9pm) at Greenodd Village Hall near Ulverston, from March 8th - 29th 2012.
If you are very nice to him he might even be able to fix you up with a hive of bees, and believe me they're rarer than a sunny day at Lawson Park.

Call 01539 721501 for more info and booking.


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Wednesday 4 January '12
(from Lawson Park Blog)

Local Bee-keeping Classes Starting Soon

Bee buddies
Bee buddies

Our Beemaster General, guru David Walmsley, kicks off a new season of bee-keeping classes on 4 Thursday evenings (7.30-9pm) at Greenodd Village Hall near Ulverston, from March 8th - 29th 2012.
If you are very nice to him he might even be able to fix you up with a hive of bees, and believe me they're rarer than a sunny day at Lawson Park.

Call 01539 721501 for more info and booking.


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