PRESS RELEASE - January 2017 - Cumbria Culture Awards


On Friday 3 February, Abbot Hall Art Gallery and the Winifred Nicholson Exhibition of 2016 proved a winning combination at the second annual Cumbria Life Culture Awards, held at Theatre by the Lake.  Abbot Hall itself fought off strong competition to win Art Gallery of the Year while Winifred Nicholson in Cumberland was awarded Exhibition of the Year.

Exhibition of the Year
Despite five finalists who powerfully illustrated the breadth and quality of exhibitions throughout Cumbria, there was no doubt among the judges, who unanimously recognised that the outstanding show of 2016 was Winifred Nicholson in Cumberland which ran at Abbot Hall Art Gallery from 8 July - 15 October 2016.

Art Gallery of the Year
The judges recognised that Cumbrian galleries are a draw to thousands of visitors to the county but are also adopted and loved by their own local communities and the five finalists came from all over Cumbria. However it was three names in particular that clinched it for the Lakeland Arts Team. In 2016 Abbot Hall Art Gallery brought the world famous artists Canaletto and Rembrandt to Cumbria as well as celebrating the life and work of Cumbrian artist Winifred Nicholson.

Helen Watson Director of Programming commented:
“Winifred Nicholson in Cumberland was a very special exhibition, highlighting the work of one of Britain’s foremost twentieth-century painters. Curated exclusively for Abbot Hall by Jovan Nicholson, the grandson of artist the show explored her experimentation with colour, light, rural life and landscapes of Cumberland and featured many works which had never been shown before.”
Abbot Hall’s next exhibition highlights the work of another Cumbrian artist Julian Cooper.  The exhibition Julian Cooper 1970-2017 opens on 7 April until 2 July 2017. Predominantly from private collections this retrospective show offers an insight into his working practice over five decades. Over 30 monumental paintings will reflect the artist’s travels from the fells and mountains of the Lake District, to his trips to South America, the Alps, the Himalayas, the quarries of Tasmania and Carrara.
The exhibition is in partnership with Art Space Gallery, London.

Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Lakeland Arts commented:
“These two awards are a tremendous reflection of the Lakeland Arts team who have worked so hard, despite dealing with the aftermath of the 2015 floods, to produce a rich, diverse and stimulating programme which brought artists of national recognition to Cumbria. Now, we look forward to welcoming both new familiar faces back to both Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Blackwell throughout the course of 2017 and beyond.”

Currently at Abbot Hall Art Gallery until 11 March 2017:
George Shaw - My Back to Nature
This exhibition of works by George Shaw celebrates his two year residency as Associate Artist at the National Gallery. To accompany the exhibition, Abbot Hall is delighted to be displaying three historic works from the National Gallery’s collection. These paintings by John Constable, Piero del Pollaiuolo and Nicolas Poussin each inspired Shaw’s residency and the works he created over this period.

Currently at Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House from 10 February – 18 June 2017:
Griet Beyaert and Paul Miller – The Light Within: a fusion of glass-making and digital technology, using video and sound recordings made in and around Blackwell. The installation, inspired by the use of light in Baillie Scott’s architecture, brings together the architectural features of Blackwell with its unique setting overlooking Windermere.

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