Kettle’s Yard House & Gallery

Currently closed until 10 February 2018.

+44 (0)1223 748 100
mail@kettlesyard.cam.ac.uk

Kettle’s Yard: Off site

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Kettle’s Yard: Looking Ahead

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Transcript

I stayed with him in his flat in Jordan Lane. I spent three days with him, I think, there, so I spent this time with Jim and basically he’s telling me about the history of Kettle’s Yard and history of himself and his relationships with the artists. As it turned out, it was all the stories that everybody knew anyway and which he published and, etc, etc, but it was nice to spend time with him. Very important, I think, to see how he lived. Effectively, he’d set up a little, mini Kettle’s Yard in Edinburgh, although the quality of the artwork wasn’t the same but it was, you know, his spartan way of life. I can remember him saying when I was washing up the dishes after dinner, and dinner was a very light meal I have to say, it was grated carrot and I can’t remember what else, but it was like an hors d’oeuvre for most people. I remember washing up, he said, ‘well, I only use hot water, I don’t use washing up liquid because it’s a waste of money’ and you would literally just wash the things under the hot tap and dry them up and that was it. He was very much in control of his faculties still, very alert, a dapper man, always well turned out. I can remember that between 2pm and 4pm, I had to go out because between 2pm and 4pm he would visit St Columbus Hospice to visit the terminal patients. He would talk to me about that too, about actually how a lot of them didn’t want to see him for quite a long time and then, I think, gradually, he managed to integrate himself into that community. So the 2pm to 4pm ritual of Kettle’s Yard was maintained in the visits to St Columbus Hospice.