This progressive art institution is situated on the rolling hills in the Lake District, and based upon the legacy of the author of the Arts & Crafts movement John Ruskin.
My journey to the remote location consisted of a plane to Manchester, thereafter train followed by a stunning stretch of three hours past the mid-england westcoast to Ulverston, where I was picked up by director Adam Sutherland to go by car up the hills between Coniston and Lake Windermere.
Grizedale is run as a small farmhold, with a number of activities connected, and a vast pineforrest around in which you can take walks and encounter some of the many installations and sculptures. The institution is a curatorial project in a constant development with an experimental and inventional spirit present. When I visited they where preparing the show ‘Wantee’ with artist Laure Prouvost, that then came to win the Turner Prize, based upon the legacy of late Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) work, who lived his last years in the forrest nearby.
The methodology of Grizedale lies in their curation of off-site art projects of various kinds, approaching the programmes with an awareness of the social, economical, cultural and historical circumstances. The Lake District suffers from a swarm of tourists in the summer and isolation in the winter, with the seasonal shift affecting the society and the relationship to their surroundings on many levels. Grizedales take on this are slightly provocative, and I was told lots of stories of how the meetings between the artists and the community are both a challenge and platform for communication and initiatives.
Photocredit: Grizedale Arts, The Guardian, Nina Wöhlk