Abbot Hall art gallery in Kendal looks forward to welcoming back the local community, art lovers and makers to celebrate its reopening on the weekend of 20-21 May 2023.

On Saturday between 11am-1pm there will be family activities both inside and outside Abbot Hall. Lakeland Arts’ MEND van will be on site offering creative activities alongside RagTag Arts, Langdale School are running a pop-up plant shop and music will be supplied by alternative samba band the Deatbeats. Sunday is the day to visit if you are looking for a quieter atmosphere whilst exploring the gallery. Downstairs in the creative space ceramics created by children from Castle Park Primary school will be on display.

Inside the gallery itself you’ll experience What is it That Will Last? (20 May to 30 December 2023) an exhibition of film, drawing and photography spanning recent works made by Julie Brook in the Outer Hebrides, in the Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan and Cumbria. Scotland-based Julie Brook works mainly in remote landscapes, creating large scale sculptural interventions that express the invisible forces of gravity, time and tide. Extending the exhibition beyond the gallery walls, there is an outdoor sculpture created by Brook at Holker Hall’s Deer Park.

Julie Brook said: “I am so pleased to have my work exhibited in the Lake District. The show at Abbot Hall will focus on work I’ve made in remote landscapes in the form of sound, film, photography and drawing. Iam excited for people to experience the exhibition and then travel into the landscape to see the physical piece at Holker Hall. The installation resonates with what people will see in the exhibition. The piece, made of Brathay Cumbrian Black stone.”

Several works from Abbot Hall’s collection will also be on display throughout the exhibition. Selected with Julie Brook, works including those by Frank Auerbach, John Piper, John Ruskin, JMW Turnerand Elizabeth Frink, will further explore the timeless relationship between artist and landscape.  Dame Barbara Hepworth’s Moon Form – which entered the Lakeland Arts permanent collection during lockdown – will go on display in the entrance hall at the gallery. The acquisition was included in the Arts Council’s Cultural Gifts Scheme and Acceptance in Lieu Annual Report 2020-21.

Rhian Harris, Chief Executive Lakeland Arts, said: “We are delighted to be reopening Abbot Hall with a stunning exhibition by the British artist Julie Brook. This is the start of a new era for Abbot Hall as a welcoming and vibrant space for all.”

Abbot Hall will also launch a new digital gallery guide to enrich both onsite and offsite visits. The free guide joins more than 150 cultural institutions around the globe on the established Bloomberg Connects network.

The free arts and cultural app created by Bloomberg Philanthropies will be available for download from Google Play or the App Store. It will feature photo, audio and video offering unique insights into Abbot Hall.

Visitors will need a ticket to see the exhibition, but the activities in the creative space and the grounds of the gallery are free and drop-in. The admission ticket to Abbot Hall is valid for 12 months, there are family and student tickets available. Members of Lakeland Arts go free to the gallery as well as to Blackwell – the Arts & Crafts house and Windermere Jetty Museum. Find out more on the gallery website

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