Yes that’s right, you haven’t misread the title, a CARDBOARD boat race.
Two weeks ago Lakeland Arts decided to enter a team into this race to represent Windermere Jetty. The intrepid two members of staff that volunteered set about gathering a team of highly skilled staff and volunteers to help them to create a masterpiece of engineering that would carry them around a marked course on Windermere.
The inspiration for the boat came from a wonderful story based on Windermere. At the turn of the twentieth century, the boatmen of Windermere wanted to attract more tourists to use their boats. To do this, they created a mysterious creature, called a Tizzie Whizie, which could only be found on Windermere if you looked hard enough. The Tizzie Whizie had the body of a hedgehog, wings and antenna and also a tail. Last photographed in 1906, we thought it was high time that Tizzie Whizie made a return to Windermere.
You can clearly see the likeness between the original, as seen on the boat’s flag below, and our boat!
SS Tizzie Whizie turned out not to be the fastest boat on Windermere on the day of the race. However, it definitely had staying power as the boat and her crew won the Armada Award for last boat afloat at the end of the day.
We would like to say a massive thank you to all those who spent time after work to help us construct the boat and also to those who came to Low Wood Marina on the day to support us. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Captain Parr & First Mate Reid
Anne-Marie, Harriet (complete with crutches!) and the In the Moment group spent last week’s session at the Wordsworth Trust, experiencing the stunning exhibition of artwork and poetry produced by the group over recent months. Established nearly two years ago, this creative group has evolved and grown and continues to share very special creative moments together. Their enjoyment, the outcomes in the form of spoken and written language and a range of artistic experiences, contribute to an atmosphere that has a tremendous impact on feelings of wellbeing.
Our meetings begin with a poetry reading and continue with creative artwork, often based around a theme. What makes each session work so well is the possibility for each participant to follow their own pace and do what they enjoy, and this is possible thanks to the involvement of volunteers and the ratio of facilitators to participants. One person may write a poem while another is painting, and another is stitching or felting. Frequently, two or more people work on a piece together. Each person is present within the moment, enjoying the pleasure of being creative and sharing delight in the finished pieces.
During our afternoon in Grasmere, members of the group also had the opportunity to explore Dove Cottage. Martin felt very at home sat by the fire, and Dorothy enjoyed the garden. John added his thoughts to our weekly In the Moment journal, developing in the spirit of Dorothy Wordsworth. And we write it with a quill!
In the Moment is a partnership between The Wordsworth Trust and Lakeland Arts. Wordsworth, his poetry, the poetry of many other poets and the collections at Abbot Hall inspire every session. The creative art work has been led and supported by artists Donna Campbell, Sue Gilmartin and Emma Lowe and a team of wonderful volunteers.
Dementia is gradually becoming better understood. One of the changes for many people with the condition is the emergence of a greater potential for creativity and it is a pleasure to nurture this and witness the stunning work that can arise.
This spring, Emilie Taylor is working on-site with Space2Create to make ceramic tiles inspired by the themes and imagery in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper. Their work will be displayed in Blackwell’s yellow bedroom from 17 July – 6 September, 2015.
Gilman wrote The Yellow Wallpaper in 1892 after suffering from a nervous breakdown and being prescribed the ‘rest cure.’ Her short story presented a chilling critique of this method of treatment, which barred patients from doing anything creative or intellectual. After writing The Yellow Wallpaper, Gilman “sent a copy to the physician who so nearly drove me mad. He never acknowledged it.” (source: Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper)
The group will be exploring how The Yellow Wallpaper relates to their personal experiences as well as contemporary views surrounding the treatment of mental-illness. They started by visiting Emilie Taylor’s recent exhibition at Blackwell, where they learned about her practice, and found out how she transfers her designs onto pottery. In the past two weeks, they’ve been working with Emilie to develop their own images, which they will transfer onto tiles they’ve rolled out themselves. Stay tuned to see how their work progresses!
photo credit: Emilie Taylor, 2015