Kettle’s Yard

Kettle’s Yard House and Gallery on Castle Street has recently reopened after a lengthy refurbishment which has enabled Director, Andrew Nairne, and his team to create new gallery space to display modern and contemporary art from around the world.

KY frontage
Image credit:  Hufton + Crow

 

The opening exhibition, “Actions.  The image of the world can be different”, showcases the work of thirty eight artists.  “Actions Part 2” will open on 11 April with a two screen film installation, “Auto Da Fe”, from John Akomfrah and paintings by Caroline Walker who, in collaboration with the charity Women for Refugee Women, has painted refugee women housed in temporary accommodation in London.

KY WindowAt the heart of Kettle’s Yard is the house, once home to Jim and Helen Ede who created it from four derelict eighteenth century cottages in the late 1950’s.  With a lifelong passion for art and having worked as a Curator at The Tate during the 1920’s, Jim became close friends with many artists including Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood and David Jones.  Over the years, Jim acquired a significant collection of art and sculpture which he brought to Kettle’s Yard along with furniture, glass and ceramics.  But the Edes equally valued natural found objects and artwork by their grandchildren.  More than anything, they wanted their art to be enjoyed in an informal domestic setting, holding open house every afternoon of the university term and welcoming undergraduates to their home.

Kettle's Yard paintings in house
Image credit: Kettle’s Yard

Kettle's Yard tableNatural light was crucial to the Edes.  The day I visited, the streets were carpeted in snow and the light had a very special ethereal quality to it.  I was struck by the tranquillity of the house and by its colour palette with exposed brick, varying tones of wood, natural linens, pebbles, feathers and shells, all harmonising with the Ede’s art collection to create a wonderful serenity.   Jim and Helen handed over the building and their collection to the University of Cambridge in 1966 so they knew it was in safe hands but it must have been a wrench for them to leave this peaceful haven when they moved to Edinburgh in 1973.

Kettle's Yard greenery in house
Image credit:  Kettle’s Yard

The Ede’s musical tradition continues today with a varied programme of contemporary music and chamber concerts in the house.  New archive and research areas have given enhanced research opportunities in collaboration with the University’s History of Art Department.  A breathtaking double height space is now home to Kettle’s Yard’s education and community programme, hosting a year round schedule of events and activities, many of them free, for all age groups.  It includes workshops, talks, panel discussions and artist led drop in workshops for families every Sunday.

Kettle's Yard education space
Image credit:  Hufton + Crow

At The Garden Kitchen Cafe, you’ll find tea, Fairtrade coffee, cake and light lunches with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options.   The Shop offers a carefully curated selection of cards, prints, books and jewellery with ceramics from The Leach Pottery and from local ceramicists Rachel Dormor and Maree Allitt alongside beautiful bespoke wrapping paper from Cambridge Imprint, its design inspired by a Barbara Hepworth fabric.

Kettles Yard carved stone

Kettle’s Yard is a very special place that I know I will return to again and again.  There’s such a lot going on there, far more than I can write about in this post, so do check out the website for full details of all that’s happening over the coming months.  Then go and experience the magic of Kettle’s Yard for yourself.

http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ

 

Illuminating Cambridge Libraries

Sara Rawlinson is both scientist and artist.  She grew up in Minnesota, USA, working throughout her childhood alongside her photographer grandmother in the dark room.  Sara went on to have a very successful research and academic career, taking a PhD in Seismology and Earth Sciences and subsequently running a Masters degree course in Natural Hazards at the Australian National University.  Throughout her career, she continued to take art classes and eventually left the academic world to pursue her love of photography.

Sara relocated to the other side of the world and, inspired by the beauty of the Cairngorms in her new Scottish home, she became more interested in landscape photography.  Now, having moved to Cambridge nearly a year ago, she has turned her lens on to Cambridge college libraries, with the aim of making some of the hidden parts of Cambridge more visible.  “It’s the knowledge contained within those walls,” Sara tells me “and that these historic buildings have preserved and disseminated that knowledge for so long.”  As well as wider shots, Sara particularly likes to concentrate on tiny details of structures within the libraries such as radiator grilles, bolts, shelving systems and their numbering.

SaraRawlinson_StJohns
St John’s College Library: Image credit Sara Rawlinson

50% of the opening night proceeds from this exhibition will be donated to the World Literacy Foundation, a global not-for-profit organisation that works to lift young people out of poverty through the power of literacy.  That same night (2 October), there will also be a Silent Auction of two of Sara’s framed photographs with 100% of the winning bids going to the Foundation.

SaraRawlinson-Darwin
Darwin College Library:  Image credit Sara Rawlinson

“Illuminating Cambridge Libraries” runs from 2 – 14 October at Michaelhouse in Trinity Street, a beautiful converted 14th century church.  On 7 October, Sara will be running a photography workshop, looking at details of this historic building and giving participants a chance to share their photos and talk, maybe whilst enjoying some food from the excellent Michaelhouse cafe.

For those who are wondering, Sara hasn’t turned her back on science entirely ….. along the way, she fell in love with an Australian seismologist and (to paraphrase!) reader, she married him.

http://www.sararawlinson.com

Michaelhouse, Trinity Street, Cambridge CB2 1SU