Grizedale Arts

Blogs

Through these blogs we are trying to make the organization and our way of working more accessible.
Please contribute ideas, information and criticism.

Thursday 22 March '12
(from Lawson Park Blog)

Opportunities for Garden Enthusiasts

Three full-time residential Land and Garden Internships are now available for 4-6 weeks each, to run between�May and the end of September. We are looking for proactive people who are engaged in horticultural study or that of a closely-related subject (e.g forestry) and/or have a keen practicing interest in gardening and land management. Previous experience of practical horticulture is essential.

The produce from Lawson Park Farm farm provides for those working and living at Lawson Park and for food-related projects we run locally, nationally and internationally. The farmhouse is surrounded by woodland and circa 15 acres of land (largely managed organically) that contains ornamental gardens, a new orchard, extensive kitchen gardens, a polytunnel and wildflower meadow. We also keep chickens, ducks and pigs. The gardens open to the public annually under the National Garden Scheme and to visiting specialist groups to whom guided tours are offered.� Under the leadership of resident warden - artist Karen Guthrie - the land has been developed over the last decade with an emphasis on productivity, sustainability and manageability, marrying contemporary elements with traditional materials and features.

Duties will include general garden and land maintenance, establishment of new cultivated areas, propagation, harvesting, arboriculture and animal care. Although the practical work is often routine, you will have the chance to develop and further your personal interests as well as having the opportunity to participate in diverse Grizedale Arts projects. You will be paid £100 per week and we provide full board in the Lawson Park farmhouse.

Please email maria@grizedale.org for an application form and any questions you may have.



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Tuesday 28 February '12
(from Lawson Park Blog)

Orchard finished!

Tomas, not helping in the orchard
Tomas, not helping in the orchard

Lawson Park's new orchard of UK-wide heritage fruit varieties has been finished, with the last few trees from Irish Seed Savers - a heritage nursery in Co. Clare, from whom we have the deliciously named Cavan Sugar Cane, Keegan's Crab, Armagh, and Yellow Pitcher.

I've also pruned the trees that went in last winter and added a quince, Serbian Gold.�

Every tree has received ample well-rotted manure and / or garden compost, and we are trying a biogegradable fibre mulch mat around each to keep off weed growth for as long as possible.


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Thursday 16 February '12
(from Lawson Park Blog)

Chips growing in the wild

From potato guru Alan Romans�we have ordered this year's seed potatoes for planting in the Paddies in early Spring. We like to use my nieces for the job as they don't seem to mind all the bending.

Here are the varieties we are growing this year:
Beauty of Bute,�Cara,�Highland Burgundy Red,�Pentland Squire,�Picasso,�Red Duke of York,�Sarpo Axona


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Thursday 16 February '12
(from Lawson Park Blog)

Chips growing in the wild

From potato guru Alan Romans�we have ordered this year's seed potatoes for planting in the Paddies in early Spring. We like to use my nieces for the job as they don't seem to mind all the bending.

Here are the varieties we are growing this year:
Beauty of Bute,�Cara,�Highland Burgundy Red,�Pentland Squire,�Picasso,�Red Duke of York,�Sarpo Axona


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Friday 10 February '12
(from Grizedale Arts Blog)

The Spiral of Success

Currently enjoying the light airport novel by Maxine Berg: The Machinery Question and the Making of Political Economy 1815 - 1848. It includes this marvellous illustration by Burnett from 1826 to be hung in every Mechanics Institute in the land. It shows the King in the middle and spirals out through fifteen layers of revolution with the paupers in the workhouse at its tail: "the best informed and the most industrious will always, in their exertion to get forward, thrust out the more ignorant in the rear". Like an aspirational colon. Should be made into an app for for Art Facts. Nominations please for who's in the middle and who's left in a blue pastic doggy bag in a roadside hedge.


Friday 10 February '12
(from Grizedale Arts Blog)

Der Uberkunstfarmfactory

Art+factories+in+the+snow
Art factories in the snow
The+print+studio+is+the+hangar+on+the+left+and+the+tower+was+used+to+imprison+peasant+farmers+who+didn%27t+pay+enough+tax.
The print studio is the hangar on the left and the tower was used to imprison peasant farmers who didn't pay enough tax.

This week travels bring me to a wintery (-12C) Breugelish Hildersheim in the middle of Germany to meet up Charles Esche and his team from the Van Abbe Museum and Prof. Thomas Lange of the University to discuss 1848, the usage of art, agriculture, the Zombie of modernism, cluelessness and edutainment (that word has, worryingly no spell check alert), among other things we are plotting to crowbar into an exhibition to change the world, or at least change how we see it .

The art school here is like the Mercedes version of Lawson Park’s Vauxhall Chevette. The arts school is built around a gargantuan 13th century mega farm-cum-fortress, surrounded by the most fertile soil in Germany. It’s very notable as you travel through this country by train that, in contrast to the UK, this is a land dedicated to productivity. Trackside in England reveals and a parade of retail hanger parks, malls, industrial wastelands, leisurelands and factories converted to go-kart tracks; a country given over to consumption. In Germany everyone seems to be at work, factory chimneys have smoke coming from them, the countryside is heavily farmed, not set aside and an engineering aesthetic pervades all, even at the Choco Leibniz factory.

Back at the art school we go to the student cafeteria which serves homemade café und kuchen. In fact it trumps pretty much any restaurant the Lake District has to offer and I gaze down at my 90 degree slice of subsidised patisserie and remember less fondly the Ginsters and scalding milky tea of the Goldsmiths’ refectory. But this is interrupted by a request from an art history student who is doing her thesis, startlingly, on Grizedale Arts and has heard that I am in town. “Are you sure?” I say. Apparently this website is read avidly in Europe, so we’d better get our act together. This is subsequently confirmed by Grizedale alumni and current Hildersheim artist professor Antje Schiffers who complains that we need to maintain the joke count on the site. Although, she says, we might be doing that but just not in a way she finds funny.


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!


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.


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.


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

 


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