Well, we’re now in Week 7 of lockdown and while there are glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel, life as we knew it still seems a million miles away (or at least it does to me!). I’ve put together here an eclectic selection of good Cambridge things that are happening online as well as in real life, to help keep us going through these difficult and tedious lockdown days.
Cambridge Cookery School is now open for take out from Thursday to Sunday (including this Bank Holiday Friday) from 9am – 1pm. You’ll find Tine’s beautiful fresh, healthy salads, sandwiches, cakes, breads and coffee. And now, Inder (of Inder’s Kitchen) will be cooking fresh curries for take away as well as marinated uncooked dishes ready for the barbecue plus you can pick up a bottle of wine (the white and rose will be chilled and ready to open, of course!). There’s plenty of safe social distancing queue space on the terrace and lawn but don’t leave it too late in the day … last weekend was a sell out!
Sara Rawlinson has created a virtual exhibition of her Illuminating Cambridge Libraries series on her website. Over the past 2.5 years, Sara has photographed one library from each of the 31 colleges of the University of Cambridge and she plans to show her work in a big exhibition when life returns to normal. In the meantime, take a look at her stunning photographs online, where you can also buy her fine-art prints.
Literature Cambridge is offering a new series of Online Study Sessions, starting on 9 May and continuing through the summer, giving us a chance to study literature in depth with leading scholars. Each session will have a lecture followed by a seminar and will focus on a single work or author.
Full Circle Shop is operating from its shop at 9 Norfolk Street, open Monday – Saturday 2pm – 5pm. The stall on Cambridge Market is closed for now. They’re offering a Click and Collect service and a plastic free delivery service to postcodes CB1 – 5, Histon, Impington and Cottenham. Check out their website for vegetable and herb plants, food, lifestyle and cleaning products as well as personal care items.
Circular Cambridge is running a series of Virtual Repair Cafes, happening weekly in May on Wednesday lunchtimes. An experienced Cambridge Repair Cafe repairer will look at your broken item over Zoom. This is a free event but spaces are limited so prior booking is required.
The Fitzwilliam Museum has launched a community textile project to create a large patchwork hanging inspired by art and objects in the Museum Collection, with instructive videos by textile designers and “how to” information packs.
And finally, although we are in lockdown, they can’t cancel wisteria hysteria season here in Cambridge! Wherever you are in the world, I hope that you, your families and friends are keeping safe and well x
Well here we are, it’s October already and the rhythm of the city is changing again as the students return. There’s so much happening in Cambridge this month … festivals of film, ideas, craft beer and gin, storytelling, fundraisers for local charities, art exhibitions, Diwali celebrations and lots more. So do take a look and come back too, as I’ll update this listing through the month.
1 – 12th 8am – 5pm Illuminating Cambridge Libraries. Exhibition of Sara Rawlinson’s photographs of College libraries. Michaelhouse Centre, Trinity Street, CB2. http://www.sararawlinson.com
1 – 31st 9am – 5pm weekdays. Black Cantabs: History Makers. Photography exhibition celebrating 260 years of Cambridge education for black Cambridge students and graduates from the 1700s to the 21st century. Fitzwilliam College, Storey’s Way, CB3
3 – 27th The Cambridge Show. Painting, photography, performance, sculpture and other media from 22 local artists. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
5th 10am – 1pm Family Saturdays – Brilliant Bats. Learn loads of bat facts and enjoy bat themed craft ready for Halloween. Free event. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
5th 10.30 – 11.15am Sharing Stories. A family friendly story telling session with stories from around the world told, read and sung. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Free, drop in. Milton Road Library, CB4. http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk
5th 2.30pm Nearly New Sale of pre-loved parent and baby goods. Sports Centre, Cambridge Regional College, Kings Hedges Road. http://www.nctcambridge.org
7th 7.30 – 9pm LATE: Gallery Party. Celebrate the launch of a new season of programming on the theme of Sensual/Virtual. Music, cash bar and surprises on the night. Free event. Fitzwilliam Museum. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
10th 7.30 – 9pm Miss Jebb revisits Mill Road. An evening of fact and fiction, drama and poetry as Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children and author of “Cambridge – A Brief Study in Social Questions (1906), takes us for a walk down Mill Road. Free event. Ross Street Community Centre, Ross Street. http://www.millroadhistory.org.uk
12th 10am 2019 Heffers Classics Forum. A day of talks from some of the top names in the world of Classics. The Old Library, Emmanuel College, St Andrew’s Street. http://www.eventbrite.co.uk
12th 10am – 3pm The Kenya Youth Project Autumn Fayre. Stalls, pictures, stationery, handcrafts, nearly new, books, jigsaws, toys, homemade jam and cakes, Kenyan gifts. Wesley Methodist Church, Christ’s Pieces. http://www.kenyayouthproject.org.uk
12th 10.30am – 2.30pm Nearly New and Used Book Sale. Milton Road Library, CB4
13th 12 noon – 4pm Studio Sunday. Artist led workshop for families. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
13th 1.15 – 2pm Lunchtime Concert: Works for piano by female composers. Diana Brekalo presents music by Lily Boulanger, Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann and Countess Dora Pejacevic. Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
14 – 27th Cambridge Festival of Ideas. Debates, workshops, talks, exhibitions and performances celebrating the arts, humanities and social sciences. This year’s theme is “Change”. Free. http://www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk
16 – 19th The 2019 Cambridge Greek Play: Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles. A modern day interpretation, performed in Ancient Greek with English surtitles. The tradition of performing a play in Greek every three years at Cambridge University goes back to 1882! Cambridge Arts Theatre, Peas Hill. http://www.cambridgeartstheatre.com
16th 7pm Cafe Sci Cambridge: The ethics of medical data sharing. Espresso Library, East Road. FB @cafescicambridge
17 – 24th Cambridge Film Festival. UK premieres of new features, classic retrospectives, insightful documentaries, short films, discovery titles from the global stage, family favourites and several international film festival winners. http://www.cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk
17 – 20th Eddington Craft Beer and Gin Festival. Local craft beers, flavourful gins, live music and food vans. Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington. http://www.eventbrite.com
18 – 19th 7.30pm Dracula Part 1: Jonathan Harker’s Journal with Martin Prest in the haunting and atmospheric one man show adapted from Bram Stoker’s classic novel. The Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road. http://www.ThatsMyCueProductions.com
19th 10am – 4pm Cambridge Photography Show. For anyone who is passionate about photography and video. Free entry. Guildhall, Market Square. FB Cambridge Photography Show 2019
19th 10.30 – 11.15am Sharing Stories. A family friendly storytelling session with stories from around the world told, read and sung. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Free, drop in. Milton Road Library, CB4. http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk
19th 12 noon – 4pm WE ARE CAMBRIDGE Family Day. A fun, interactive day exploring what living in and around Cambridge means to you. Artist led workshops where you can create artwork inspired by Cambridge, your ideas of home and hopes for the future of the city. Plus a wildflower seed-bomb workshop inspired by the history and work of Alan Turing. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
19th 2 – 5.30pm Literature Cambridge Study Day: An Introduction to Reading Poetry. Do you love poetry and would you like to understand it better? Accessible lectures and a seminar with leading young Cambridge scholars. Stapleford Granary, CB22. http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/read-poetry
19th 3 – 4pm Children’s Event: Author Isabel Thomas unlocks the life of Stephen Hawking with storytelling and activities. Free event. Heffers, Trinity Street. http://www.eventbrite.co.uk
20th 10am – 4pm Apple Day. Apple tasting, identification, cultivation, activities and edibles. Free Garden seasonal highlight tours, live music, pop up food trucks and craft stalls. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
20th 1.15 – 2pm Lunchtime Concert: Music for harpsichord. Final concert of the complete Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, recital No. 30, performed by Francis Knights. Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
20th 7 – 9.45pm Sakhya Diwali celebrations. A fundraiser evening of music, Indian food and Bollywood dancing. All proceeds go to grass-root education and development oriented projects in India. St Paul’s, Hills Road. Booking required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
26th 5 – 9pm Cambridge Mindful Pub Crawl. Low and no alcohol drinks at three venues with the first round on Adnams. Starting at The Castle Inn, Castle Street, CB3. Tickets from http://www.joinclubsoda.com
27th 1.15 – 2pm Lunchtime Concert: Music for piano. George Harliono performs Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor. Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
28th 7.45pm Centenary Lecture: Professor Dame Sally C Davies, Master of Trinity College, on being the UK’s Chief Medical Officer. Free admission, retiring collection. Wesley Methodist Church, Christ’s Pieces.
29th 7pm Graphene the new wonder material: But will it change the world? Fundraising lecture from Professor Sir Colin Humphreys, CBE, FREng, FRS Director of Research Dept of Materials Science and Metallurgy. In aid of Cam Sight. Dept of Material Sciences and Metallurgy, Charles Babbage Road, CB3. http://www.camsight.org.uk
The University of Cambridge is a world leading seat of learning and at the heart of each of its thirty one colleges sits a library, the hub that preserves books, manuscripts and documents and which has disseminated knowledge down the generations. Photographer Sara Rawlinson has turned her lens onto these contemplative places, which are often hidden from public view, in her project “Illuminating Cambridge Libraries”.
As well as wider shots of the libraries, Sara particularly likes to concentrate on tiny details of structures and textures such as radiator grilles, bolts, shelving systems and their numbering. Sara will be showing images from twenty five college libraries at her “Illuminating Cambridge Libraries” exhibition which is happening at the Heong Gallery in Downing College from 11 – 17 February. The exhibition will also feature several rotating pyramidal lecterns designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the late 17th century and which are being loaned by the Wren Library at Trinity College.
Sara grew up in Minnesota, USA, working throughout her childhood alongside her photographer grandmother in the dark room. She 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 scientific career, Sara continued to take art classes and eventually left the academic world to pursue her love of photography. She relocated to Cambridge with her husband and young daughter a couple of years ago and now runs a full time fine art photography studio from her home in the city.
Alongside the “Illuminating Cambridge Libraries” project, at the invitation of the Dean of Chapel at King’s College, Sara has been photographing the historic Chapel in a new light with an artist’s eye, capturing images of areas that are hidden from view and tiny details that are often overwhelmed by the grandiosity of the space. It’s as well that Sara has a head for heights as she’s climbed the tiny stairwell and negotiated the narrow corridors to get on to the Chapel roof and has also, by serendipity, been up in a cherry picker (which was deployed to replace lights in the Chapel), allowing her to take some amazing shots from a lofty perspective.
Sara’s work was featured in the national press and online in 2018 as three of her images across both projects were shortlisted for the Historic Photographer of the Year award. She is a member of Cambridge Open Studios, a community of around five hundred artists, craftspeople and designer-makers working throughout Cambridgeshire. Last year, she transformed her house into a gallery for the first time to showcase her photography as part of the annual Open Studios event which takes place over weekends in July each year. This year, Sara is planning to show her work at Open Studios again but this time in the Cellarer’s Chequer in Beche Road, a Grade 2* listed building owned by Cambridge City Council which is on the site of Barnwell Priory and which is rarely open to the public.
The “Illuminating Cambridge Libraries” exhibition at the Heong Gallery will be open from 10.30am – 6pm each day from 11 – 17 February and entry is free. There will be a Private View on 11 February from 6.30 – 8.30pm which will include readings from Cambridge based poet Michael Brown of poetry he has written in Pembroke College Library. For more information on the exhibition, on Sara’s work, to register for the Private View and to buy prints, visit http://www.sararawlinson.com
It may be midwinter out there but there’s still plenty happening in the city! I’ll add to this listing as the month unfurls so please do get in touch if you know of an event that could be included.
2nd 10am – 1pm Family Saturday – Prehistoric Plants. Find out about the plants that were around at the time of the dinosaurs and make your own plant fossil to take home. Botanic Garden. Free event. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk Read more about the Botanic Garden here
2nd 2 – 4pm Family First Saturday. Art activities on the theme of Chinese New Year, in collaboration with Cambridge China Centre. Fitzwilliam Museum. Free event. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
3rd 7.30pm “Romantic Russia” concert. Sampson Orchestra. Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Gliere. West Road Concert Hall. Tickets bought from Cam Sight will be donated to the charity. http://www.camsight.org.uk Read more about Cam Sight here
9th 2 – 5.30pm An Introduction to Nature Poetry. Study day with Cambridge scholars Paul Chirico and Oliver Goldstein. How does 19th century poetry speak to us now, in a time of climate change? Stapleford Granary CB22. http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/nature/ Read more about Literature Cambridge here
9 – 10th 11am – 4pm Rowan “Cambridge Seen” Art Exhibition and sale. Works created by local artists, on sale at £45 each, raising funds to help Rowan’s student artists lead a more fulfilled life. Long Road Sixth Form College, CB2 http://www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk Read more about Rowan here
11 – 17th 10.30am – 6pm “Illuminating Cambridge Libraries”, a pop-up exhibition by photographer, Sara Rawlinson. Heong Gallery, Downing College. http://www.sararawlinson.com Read more about Sara and her work here and here
13th 7.30pm Spanglish Speed Dating – Valentine Special. The Emperor Tapas pub, Hills Road. Facebook: @SpanishCentreUK
15 – 17th Ahbab Festival, celebrating Middle Eastern and North African culture in music, film and food. Cambridge Junction. http://www.junction.co.uk
15 – 16th Sat noon – 6pm/Sun 10am – 5pm Cambridge Book Fair. 85 booksellers and refreshment by Indigo Cafe. The Guildhall, Market Square. http://www.pbfa.org
16th 11am – 5pm Cambridge Climate and Sustainability Festival, “Affecting Every Existence”. Fisher’s Building, St John’s College. Facebook: @CambridgeClimateForum
16th 8pm Stravinsky “The Rite of Spring” and Rachmaninov “Symphonic Dances”. Cambridge University Orchestra. West Road Concert Hall. http://www.adcticketing.com
20th 4.30 – 7.30pm Twilight at the Museums. Explore 14 local museums and collections after dark. Free, drop in event with activities and themed trails across the venues. http://www.museums.cam.ac.uk
21st 6.30 – 8.30pm Cam Late: Botanic Nights. An evening in the Glasshouse Range with craft beer and atmospheric light displays. Over 18’s only. Botanic Garden. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk Read more about the Botanic Garden here
The annual Cambridge Open Studios event returns as the workshops and studios of 350 artists, craftspeople and designer-makers across Cambridgeshire open their doors over four weekends in July to showcase painting, ceramics, sculpture, handmade jewellery, glass, photography and much more.
This is a great opportunity to see artists at work, to discuss their techniques and inspiration and to browse, buy or even commission their work, although there is no pressure to buy. Entry to all studios is free. Last week, I caught up with a couple of participants who are getting ready for Open Studios.
Regular readers of this blog may remember photographer, Sara Rawlinson, who I first met last September when I wrote about her journey from seismology to photography and her exhibition at Michaelhouse, “Illuminating Cambridge Libraries”. Over these past months, Sara has continued with her project, taking stunning photographs of more college libraries. She has plans for another exhibition and is also branching out into flower photography, particularly looking at tiny details, the texture of petals and frosty grasses in monochrome.
Sara is looking forward to opening her home studio in Beche Road for the first time and will be welcoming visitors on all four weekends. Find out more about Sara and her work on http://www.sararawlinson.com
Over at Rowan in Humberstone Road, the student artists are hard at work creating beautiful pieces in their studios. Rowan is an arts centre for people with learning disabilities and there’s truly a family atmosphere here. The student artists are supported to be autonomous, encouraged to learn and try new things and to enjoy being together in the light, airy social spaces that run through the building.
The work spaces were a hive of activity when I dropped in last week, with gorgeous cards being produced in the Print Studio, wooden phone stands, lamps and candlesticks coming from the Woodwork Studio and bright felted wool scarves hanging up to dry in the Textiles Studio.
The Ceramic and Mixed Media studios were equally busy and the Rowan team, who are old hands at the Cambridge Open Studios event, are looking forward to welcoming visitors on the weekend of 7 and 8 July. Proceeds from the sale of the student artists’ work go straight back into the charity to enable their remarkable work to continue. Rowan also takes commissions for one off pieces. You’ll find more on http://www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk
In a new initiative, Cambridge Open Studios has joined forces with ofo bikes this year, with the dual aim of helping visitors travel between city centre studios easily whilst reducing the environmental impact of the event. You can locate ofo bikes using the free ofo Smartphone app, available from the App Store or Google Play. Then just use a code printed in the Open Studios yellow guidebook to claim five free one hour ofo bike rides and get pedalling!
Studios will be open to visitors from 11am to 6pm on July 7/8, 14/15, 21/22 and 28/29 and entry is free. Do bear in mind that not every artist will exhibit every weekend. You’ll find printed guides for this event in shops, galleries and libraries. You can also go to the website to download the 2018 COS App which gives full details of the Open Studios together with an interactive map to help you with planning your day and navigation.
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.
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.
“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.