“We congratulate Abbot Hall for curating another remarkable exhibition in Kendal” – Richard Dawson

Long-standing supporter of Lakeland Arts, Richard Dawson from Rathbones Kendal, talks about Abbot Hall Art Gallery’s new exhibition, its redevelopment and the importance of ‘giving back’ to the community.

Richard writes: “It’s fantastic to see the Fleming Collection’s masterworks by SJ Peploe, JD Fergusson, George Leslie Hunter and FCB Cadel displayed alongside Lakeland Arts’ own Colourist works for the first time.

“It’s wonderful to see the complementary pieces chosen by the curatorial team, showing how the Scottish Colourists’ innovations spread to influence other artists including Joan Eardley.

“We’d like to congratulate Abbot Hall for curating another remarkable exhibition in Kendal and we look forward to seeing the renovated Abbot Hall in two years’ time.”

Colour and Light presents works by the Scottish Colourists in Abbot Hall’s last major exhibition before it closes for redevelopment. The Scottish Colourists were a group of four painters whose post-Impressionist work had far-reaching influence on contemporary British art and culture.

The exhibition explores not only the ground-breaking artistic achievements of the Scottish Colourists, but for the first time addresses their influence on subsequent generations of Scottish artists and lasting impact on modern British art.

It is a fantastic collection of paintings to go on show before Abbot Hall closes for redevelopment in 2020.

Richard adds: “Rathbones’ Kendal office has continued its support for Lakeland Arts during its new Scottish Colourists exhibition.

“Lakeland Arts has been working on several exciting projects this year including Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories which opened in Spring. It’s also really exciting to hear plans for the upcoming £9.6m redevelopment of Abbot Hall which gets underway in 2020.

“These are all great examples of a forward-thinking organisation with long-term plans to benefit the local community, which has strong parallels with the way Rathbones looks to invest for its clients.

“We look for companies with sustainable investment practices that support and interact with the communities and societies they depend on to ensure their ongoing growth and prosperity.

“What strikes me about something like the Abbot Hall redevelopment, is that while some of the benefits will be immediately obvious—improved accessibility and exhibition spaces for example—the full benefits will manifest over decades.

“By enhancing this already well-respected art gallery we can expect to see even more fantastic exhibitions being brought to the region for future generations to enjoy.

“This investment helps to make Kendal a great place to live and work, which is vital for businesses to thrive. This means more students, talented professionals and entrepreneurs choosing to remain in our local area.

“At Rathbones, all of our clients are long-term investors, endowments and charitable trusts, and families looking to create wealth over many generations. We have long recognised that our investments must factor in the wider, long-term impact on society and the economy. Companies exist in a sustainable social contract with the community: it is the continued flourishing of society that provides the conditions in which wealth can consistently grow over generations.

“For Rathbones, this philosophy manifests on many levels. As a national company, Rathbone Investment Management has engaged for over ten years with the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which is an international agreement on responsible and sustainable investment practices that contribute to the social good. We hold an A+ PRI rating for Strategy and Governance and have done now for three years. We believe in investing in firms that deliver benefits to the community in their pursuit of returns for their investors.

“Locally at Rathbones Kendal, we also aim to give back to our community where we can. We support local initiatives like Brathay Trust’s Aspiring Leaders Programme, Institute of Directors’ educational and networking events, and Lancashire’s Haffner Orchestra as well as these vibrant exhibitions at Abbot Hall.”

Colour and Light is open now and runs until 1 February 2020. 

 

“I have seen first hand the dramatic retreat of glaciers across the world”

Emma drawing Langdale Pikes 2Artist Emma Stibbon’s large monochrome drawings and cyanotype photographs reveal the effects of a warming climate in The Alps.

The Royal Academician reflects on the impact of climate change through powerful new work on display in Abbot Hall’s big summer show Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud.

Visitors can immerse themselves in Stibbon’s stunning drawings created as she followed in the footsteps of two of Britain’s most iconic artists. 

In an exclusive interview Emma talks about what inspired her to follow Ruskin and Turner to the mountains…

How does it feel to bring your amazing works to Abbot Hall Art Gallery?

I’m excited to be showing my work at Abbot Hall as it’s a beautiful venue with an amazing collection. It feels special to be part of this exhibition in Cumbria, where Ruskin spent such a large part of his life. I’ve always loved hiking and drawing in the Lake District and it’s great to have my work on show here.

What is it about Ruskin and Turner that so inspires you?

As an artist Turner is a trailblazer. His extraordinary depictions of grand mountain scenery inspired Ruskin and generations of artists that were to follow. Both Turner and Ruskin have an incredible scrutiny of nature and yet they also have a very personal vision of the world. I think it’s that combination of their observation of what’s ‘out there’ and their imagination that fascinates me.

Why were you so driven to go to The Alps to follow Ruskin and Turner?

I have always loved Turner and Ruskin’s depictions of the Alps. The watercolours and drawings made from their numerous Alpine trips define a new language for the sublime in landscape. In my own work I have seen first hand the dramatic retreat of glaciers across the world. We are living through a period of rapid change and I feel an urge to communicate this through my work. This comes from a realisation that many sites are changing beyond recognition within my lifetime. I made a visit in June 2018 (164 years after Ruskin) to see what remains of the glaciers around the Mont Blanc region.  Exposed at this mid summer period many of these views are now virtually unrecogniseable.

Your photographs show climate change first hand – what was your initial reaction when you reached the same locations as Ruskin/Turner?

Having visited the ‘Mer de Glace’ previously I knew that the glacier had retreated beyond recognition from Ruskin’s 1854 visit when he made his daguerreotype. In Ruskin’s daguerreotype of the Mer de Glace we see, quite literally, a sea of ice flowing past the observation hut at Montenvers. The Mer de Glace valley today presents a dark moraine covered floor, almost completely devoid of ice. What I wasn’t prepared for was the fact that the glacier has receded massively since my last visit ten years ago.

Do you think society is taking climate change seriously?

We are clearly not taking the action we need to in order to mitigate the dramatic increases in global warming – there is a growing gap between our understanding of climate change and our willingness to take action. 

Emma Stibbon_ Aiguilles, 1520 x 214cms, Indian ink, ground oyster shell on paper 2018 © Emma Stibbon courtesy of Alan Cristea Gallery

(Emma Stibbon_ Aiguilles, 1520 x 214cms, Indian ink, ground oyster shell on paper 2018 © Emma Stibbon courtesy of Alan Cristea Gallery)

What do you think should be done to halt climate change?

We need to consider our place in the world and our actions within it, and that we are responsible custodians for generations to come….that means taking action now! 

Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud is on at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria until 5 October 2019. The exhibition consists of more than 135 works and stretches across six rooms.

“Bringing internationally recognised artists like Grayson Perry to the county is hugely important for our arts scene”

grayson perry portrait, © katie hyams and living architecture
Grayson Perry portrait, © Katie Hyams and Living Architecture

Visitors to Abbot Hall Art Gallery have gone giddy for Grayson Perry’s tapestries.

Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: The Story of a Life by Grayson Perry opened in November and runs until Saturday 16 February.

Exhibition sponsor Rathbones Kendal has continued its longstanding support for Abbot Hall to help bring the exhibition to Cumbria.

Rathbones Director Richard Dawson reflects on the exhibition and on the importance of supporting the arts locally:

“Congratulations to Abbot Hall and Lakeland Arts on another brilliant display. We’ve been pleased to support world-class exhibitions at Abbot Hall since 2011 – bringing the work of internationally recognised artists like Grayson Perry to the county is hugely important for our arts and cultural scene and we are proud to invest in our community this way.

“We’re big admirers of Grayson Perry’s profound and touching works, especially his outstanding documentary series Rites of Passage on Channel 4. This is the first time the Julie Cope tapestries have been exhibited outside House for Essex and it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to see the work of this Turner-award-winning artist locally. I really enjoyed hearing the artist’s own recording of The Ballad of Julie Cope and viewing the tapestries.

“Abbot Hall makes a major contribution to Kendal’s dynamism and vibrancy with one of the best programmes of exhibitions outside London. We also recently had the chance to tour the exciting new Windermere Jetty with Gordon Watson and the team at Lakeland Arts, which is an outstanding addition to the organisation’s offering.

“It’s such an exciting time for Lakeland Arts who are also adding over 30 new staff, with many in post already – we’re looking forward to seeing everything they have in store this year and beyond.

“It’s so important to us in all our sponsorships and community partnerships to help nurture and retain the new generation of talent locally. Lakeland Arts’ educational programme and engagement with schools, colleges and the wider community provides invaluable well-rounded education for young people, ensuring that the local community is engaged with the artwork available on their doorstep.

“This year at Rathbones Kendal we’re also proud sponsors of the Institute of Directors’ programme of educational and networking events, and we have contributed to the Brathay Trust’s Aspiring Leaders programme and supported Lancashire’s Haffner Orchestra. 

“Our company has a long legacy of contributing to our community, especially in education and the arts. Rathbone Brothers sponsors the Rathbones Folio Prize every year to support literary talent, and locally we will support an event at Words by the Water on 15 March with John Simpson.

“Our investment managers across the country run ‘Your Money – Your Future’ Financial Awareness seminars for young people aged 16-25, to help promote financial literacy and empower them to make solid plans for the coming decade.

“I’d like to congratulate Lakeland Arts and Abbot Hall once more on bringing this outstanding exhibition to Kendal and we hope it continues to be a big success as it enters its final month.”

Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: The Story of a Life by Grayson Perry involves two giant tapestries on display at Abbot Hall. Crafts Council acquired the tapestries with Art Fund support (with a contribution from The Wolfson Foundation).

Julie Cope is a fictional character created by Perry.  She is an Essex everywoman whose story he has told through the two tapestries and extended ballad presented in this Crafts Council touring exhibition.

You can view the Grayson Perry tapestries at Abbot Hall until Saturday 16 February 2019.

Find out more about Rathbones Kendal.