One of the new members of our team explores Cambridge and beyond
Eleanor Costello, Communicatons Assistant
Answering one of the questions I put to him in his interview with us, Open House Artist in Residence Harold Offeh described Cambridge better than I ever could. “I think for creatives and art lovers you have to explore and dig a bit to fully appreciate the cultural landscape, there are lots of hidden treasures. But most importantly for me it’s a liberal, open and tolerant city that welcomes people.”
Starting my new job as Communications Assistant also meant that I was moving to a whole new city. I have been welcomed with open arms, at Kettle’s Yard, and by everyone I have met so far, proving Harold’s statement true. Exploring the arts and cultural offerings here has been easy, as locals are more than happy to point me in the right direction.
I had the chance to catch the incredible choreography of La Ribot at Cambridge Junction. ‘Another Distinguee’ required the audience’s involvement by following dancers around the room as they navigated through darkness, allowing for opportunities to see the intriguing performance from multiple points of view.
I enjoyed the changing tempo of rock band Tall Ships, and the beachy pop sounds of The Magic Gang at the institution that is The Portland Arms. I visited the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (giving my eardrums a break) and was awe struck by their collection that spans nearly two million years of human history. I’ve been inspired to get back into sketching thanks to ‘Drink and Draw’, an evening event at the Museum of Classical Archaeology.
We are lucky enough that the temporary offices of Kettle’s Yard are just down the road from The Fitzwilliam Museum, making a lunch time visit to the Madonna’s and Miracles exhibition achievable, although it didn’t allow for nearly enough time to take everything in. I stopped by a few more times to see our Alfred Wallis and Christopher Wood display and have ended up exploring the rest of the museum, as well as spending more hours than I’m willing to admit in their shop. I’m counting down the days until their Degas exhibit.
I’ve attended two Circuit events, the first was a social workshop with artists Aid & Abet, another, an evening where I got to talk all things marketing and communications with the Circuit Conductors group. I have been consistently blown away by the incredible creative minds of the young people in Cambridge, of those in Circuit, and of the artists exhibiting at Cambridge School of Art Degree Show.
The University of Cambridge also attracts some incredible minds and I’ve had the pleasure of attending talks by travel writer Ian Packham and designer Kit Kemp. I also heard Sir Antony Gormley speak at the opening of Art For Tomorrow at Jesus College. The College’s support of the arts continues with their Sculpture in the Close exhibition again this year, which I have also made time to visit. The all female line up includes Agnes Thurnauer, Louise Bourgeois, Cornelia Parker and Phyllida Barlow, to name just a few.
Like Offeh said, when you go digging, the Cambridge cultural landscape is vast. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel across the UK and explore outside of Cambridge. I discovered Snape Maltings, with its Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth sculptures surrounded by idyllic Suffolk countryside setting. A weekend in Bristol called for a visit to the Basim Magdy exhibition at Arnolfini, a show including several films that explore imagination, memory and reality, which was surprisingly sentimental.
Our communications team visited the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich and I was blown away by Rana Begum’s exhibition ‘Space, Light, Colour’. While there, we made the time to explore the University grounds’ sculpture too, which includes work by Henry Moore and Antony Gormley.
Can you believe that all of that was in just four months? I’m exhausted, in a good way! I can’t wait to explore more of the creative industries in Cambridge and throughout the UK. I have learned so much, from my colleagues at Kettle’s Yard and the University of Cambridge Museums to speakers at the Arts Marketing Association conference in Belfast and Museum Tech 2017 in London.
I’ve also had the pleasure of working across multiple projects including our Chamber Music concert series, the Open House Gathering and with Circuit, to name a few. As one of the newest team members at Kettle’s Yard, I haven’t been waiting for the new building for even a fraction of the time that some of the staff have been, but I think that I am just as excited as everyone else (if not more so!) to enjoy the new spaces and see the House.
I’ll be sharing all the exciting news in the lead up to our reopening early next year across social media channels so follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear Kettle’s Yard updates.