This June sees a new studio and exhibition space open in the large Cumbrian village of Morland situated in the Eden Valley, near to Penrith and the Lake District National Park.
Studio Morland is the new workspace of artists Jenny Brook and Kate Gilman Brundrett set within the Old School House building. It will host a programme that is both creative and educational – with workshops, exhibitions, artists’ residencies and community arts and wellbeing activities.
“The Studio is a beautiful building – it was a school house, then a theatre – and so it’s made for a creative endeavour and crying out for artistic activity and community interactivity of some description,” says Gilman Brundrett.
“It needed to be more than just a gallery, and not simply a community hub. So we will be bringing in artists to work with people and make art, and also run a workshop and events programme to create a safe, playful space where anyone can be allowed the freedom of artistic exploration.
“The excitement is at the point of crossover and the potential frisson that can happen.”
The duo have invited Leeds-based artist and researcher Louise Atkinson to present work for the inaugural exhibition.
Opening to the public on Saturday 3 June with a private view on 2 June, ‘Souvenirs from the British Isles’ draws on Atkinson’s interest in mythology, iconography and consumerism.
Her brightly coloured sculptural objects are reminiscent of tourist trinkets – the artist’s own interpretation of a number of Britain’s cities.
The influence of pop art, kitsch and mass production bring about a contemporary heraldry – the exhibition space at Studio Morland becomes a cabinet of curiosities.
“Activity in visual arts in the area has ignited recently,” says Gilman Brundrett. “There seems to be a continuous stream right now of exhibitions, workshops, art fairs, BBQs and networking on a level not seen for quite some time.”
Gilman Brundrett is also on the board of Eden Arts, the artist-led National Portfolio Organisation that runs C-Art, which promotes Cumbria’s artists through a range of events including open studios and an online directory.
“C-Art has definitely had an impact on the development of visual arts over the years,” she says. “It has helped to embed visual arts into people’s everyday lives, and artists seem to be re-emerging and reorganising themselves with a new energy. It’s great to see.”
Studio Morland at the Old School House, CA10 3AZ, launches on Friday 2 June, 6-8pm and Saturday 3 June, 11-3pm. Morland village is in the Eden Valley between Penrith, Appleby and Shap
1. Studio Morland at the Old School House, Morland, Cumbria
2. Jenny Brook and Kate Gilman Brundrett painting the space
3. Studio Morland – before transformation
4. Louise Atkinson, Bradford
5. Louise Atkinson, Souvenirs