Artists being useful, open air cinema, the arts in rural places, artists opening their studios, art in public spaces, Cumbrian Artist of the Year exhibition … just some of the things Eden Arts are working on right now.
Eden Arts are based in a former fire station in Penrith in the Lake District. As part of a reorganisation and re-imagining of that 1960s building, a number of spaces have become available for artists.
Rather than give the spaces on a long term basis, Eden Arts would like to use them to support artists from further afield who want to spend some time visiting and working in Cumbria. Artists are free to use the spaces in any way they wish, and there are no expectations that any particular work will be produced. The spaces are to further artists in their ongoing practice.
The principal spaces include one ground floor office with good light and a first floor office without windows (suitable for digital practice, photography or a sound artist). In addition, other rooms including the fire station’s mess, small meeting room, and reprographics room can be used. The large engine bay (which held four fire engines) can also be used and is suitable for large-scale making, theatre rehearsal, experimental work or other performance practice. Spaces can be used for periods from one week to one month.
Eden Arts will freely give the space(s) and use of our kit: lighting kit, PA, projectors, staging; advice and support and engagement from all of our team; and free run of the building (except the bits that are in use for other purposes!). There’s also a communal lunch made by one of our artists every Tuesday.
Visiting artists will be asked to ‘do something’, for example talk to a small group about their practice, hold a show and tell, or make a short film about their time with Eden Arts, at the end of their visit.
There is no fee to use the spaces, nor is there any fee on offer to artists. Eden Arts will support funding applications by artists wishing to work in Cumbria. This idea has been discussed with ACE and they are ready to assess Grants For Arts bids to support residencies or experiments – while there are no guarantees that bids will automatically be successful, bids will be able to demonstrate the support of Eden Arts, an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.
Penrith is in the Lake District, just south of the Scottish border, and three hours by train from London Euston. It is rather beautiful, rural, and Eden Arts are a successful and growing artist-led organisation seeking to form new relationships with artists and other organisations.