We are working with artist Lucy Steggals on one of our projects celebrating 50 years of Kettle’s Yard being part of the University of Cambridge.
Working collaboratively with communities in North Cambridge, Lucy will be developing new work in response to the local area as well as the collections and archive at Kettle’s Yard. The project will culminate in a display at Arbury Community Centre on Saturday 5 November, which forms part of a series of exhibitions and events taking place this Autumn.
On Monday Steggals met with our Archivist Frieda Midgley to find out more about Jim and Helen Ede, the importance of simplicity, balance and nature, how Kettle’s Yard started and about it being gifted to the University. In a 1956 letter to David Jones, Jim Ede wrote that his aim for Kettle’s Yard was for it to be
‘a place of beauty in a town, each room an atmosphere of quiet and simple charm, and open to the public… its special feature would be I think of simplicity and loved qualities.’
Items from the archive Steggals looked at included the first catalogue for Kettle’s Yard from 1968 with a donated print by Ben Nicholson on the front cover and the description ‘A collection of paintings, sculpture, drawings, glass, china, books, furniture, shells and stones’. She also looked through Jim’s diaries which detail the growing of plants and fruits in their garden and hosting events centred around food and music. Steggals found objects he had collected tucked inside the diaries, such as feathers, leaves and pieces of fabric.
Steggals will be researching in the archives over the next few weeks and developing ideas for creative activities with residents in North Cambridge from September. She has also been inspired by Kettle’s Yard’s affinity with nature – especially apples – so watch this space for some fruit inspired activities!
Click on the image on the left to see more photos from Lucy Steggal’s visit to the archive.