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Merz Barn, Elterwater. YAC Exhibition.

September 2, 2010

Situated in remote woodland in the Langdale Valley in the Lake District, is the most magical place.

Kurt Schwitters Merz Barn Elterwater.

Kurt Schwitters Merz Barn is being restored and is the setting for a wonderful exhibition by YAC (Young Artists of Cumbria).

Although it is the exhibition I am writing about, a bit of background history about Kurt Schwitters and his Cumbrian connection follows.

Merz Barn, Elterwater.

Kurt Schwitters was an artist who worked in four Merzbauten. One in Hanover and two in Norway. The site of the Elterwater barn was once part of the Elterwater Gunpowder works and remained much as he left it. Work is ongoing to restore it and international interest has been expressed in the project. Damien Hurst even donated one of his spin paintings to help raise funds for the restoration. Littoral Arts Trust are working hard to preserve it and use it as a focus point for local artists.

Outside the Merz Barn.

The word Merz comes from a work Schwitters created in 1918. His collage work incorporated a piece of paper with the words “Kommerz” – the letter head of a bank. Born in 1887 he died in Kendal in 1948. As well as being an artist he also wrote poetry and children’s books.

Pathways Exhibition

The Pathways Exhibition brought together young Cumbrian’s who had all chosen art as their future. Recent Graduates, they gathered to exhibit their work in this wonderful setting.

Looking into the Shippon.

Situated inside the Merz Barn itself was work by Stacy Brafield, a site-specific installation. The shadows and setting made this an inspiring piece of art. It was in the spirit of Kurt Schwitters himself, re-using old video tape.

Work by Stacy Brafield.

Being a Textile Graduate myself I was drawn to the work by Kiah Adamson, who’s work delves into the world of fantasy and fairytale.

Work by Kiah Adamson

Another recent textile graduate that caught my eye was Kate Wilson. A beautiful range of scarves and clothing on display.

Work by Kate Wilson

On the path to the Merz Barn was photographic work by Ross Santamera. A panoramic view of the Lake District.

Path leading to the barn.

A collaboration between Graphic Designer Ken Shaw and Music Producer/Sound Designer Joe Cowton caused a lot of interest at the entrance to The Shippon.

Work by Ken Shaw

The exhibition is on until 22nd September 2010 and is well worth a visit.

Artist involved in the Exhibition.

Kiah Adamson. Textiles, Fashion + Fibre.

Stacy Brafield. Embroidery.

Sarah Brockbank. Contemporary Applied Arts.

Joni Kirton. Graphic Design.

Ross Santamera. Photography.

Rebecca Sewell. Interior Design.

Kenneth Shaw. Graphic Design.

Kate Wilson. Textiles, Fashion + Fibre.

Harriette Wolff. Graphic Design.

David Woods. Drawing & Painting.

Inside the Merz Barn

Thanks to Littoral Arts Trust. A unique venue for a unique exhibition.

Letter by Kurt Schwitters

From → Elterwater, Langdale

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