|Sterling silver lorgnette by Amanda Hunter|
The Lakes Collective Summer Showcase is now on! The Bishop Bulley Barn looks fab with everyone's work in it, and the "Literature" theme has certainly inspired some amazing work - from Sue Brophy's range of jewellery based on her own poems, to Suki Kyme's thought provoking paintings representing the works of Edgar Allen Poe. There are also beautiful, handcrafted pocket guides to the Lakes made by book conservationist Helen Golding Miller and illustrated by artist Jo Aspray, some exciting jars of 'preserved' books by mixed media artist Elizabeth Shorrock, and fabulous hats, mugs, ceramics, glass bowls, and paintings and prints to get your pulse racing. There are also two participatory projects to which you can add your thoughts - a frieze of illustrations by Jo Aspray that need a story to accompany them, and a poetry and jewellery collaboration by poet Andrew Forster and silversmith Amanda Hunter called "Liable to Flooding" where you try out the project and let them know if you think they should continue with it.
Yesterday was our first day and we were surprised by the large number of people through the door for a wet Monday. All were very complimentary about the work on display - one comment (from an art collector) was "the most interesting, high quality exhibition I've been to this year!".
As is usually the case on the first day of an exhibition, we had to contend with a few unexpected developments - this time in animal form! Firstly, there is an intriguing jackdaw nest in one of the windows of the barn, creating a fascinating piece of action art where you can even see the chicks' hearts beating. An appreciative toad was discovered perusing the Sculpture Trail. Sitting behind Elizabeth Shorrocks 'pickled books', he looked as if he had been there for days - two books had disappeared from the jar, so maybe he was more interested in the display than he was letting on! Other visitors to the exhibition were a group of four tups, whose curiosity and plan to escape the rain led them into the vestibule of the barn. The thought of four sheep running around our exhibition turned us into expert shepherds in one easy lesson!
The Summer Showcase is on every day from 10am - 5pm until next Sunday 8 June. On Thursday evening the showcase is open until 9pm, and there is the chance to join some of the artists and designer makers for an evening glass of wine, nibbles and chat.