Last Saturday morning at Kettle’s Yard…
A workshop was being delivered by Artist Lora Avedian, making collage in response to the new Exhibition, ‘Alfred Wallis Rediscovered’. I had the great honour of giving two house tours, each to a group of five whilst the other half were given a talk by Curator, Eliza Spindel on the Alfred Wallis collection. Unusually, we started our tours in the lower extension and in doing so, I wanted to use the opportunity to draw on a speech Jim Ede gave at the opening of the extension. With Prince Charles present and a concert given by Jacqueline du Pré & Daniel Barenboim, it was a grand affair.
The article from which I drew the speech, was written by David Owers an Associate of Leslie Martin Architects and published in the Cambridge Review, 29th May 1970. It’s a fascinating article, but most importantly, the quoted Ede’s speech presents Kettle’s Yard in it’s entirety. The essence of which is as important today, as he suggests it might be as it was when he originally spoke these words:
It is a sadness, that the House is once again temporarily closed for this second lockdown, but I encourage you to go on the website and learn about it…
Ede was an Artist, his vision following in the footsteps of significant Artists before him such as Morris, Ruskin, Wilde and Lawrence to name but a few:
‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’ -William Morris.
This is an incredibly valuable lesson at this time, especially under the circumstances whilst we spend more time in them.
Taking this sentiment and applying principles of balance and harmony when placing things around a given space, we are able to create sanctuaries in our own homes. That which you already have, remember how you came about owning it, perhaps you purchased it because it caught your eye, was it a gift, a souvenir?
Treasure these things. They hold memories and are more valuable than anything money can buy. If it is a bad memory, don’t hold on to it, let go. Gift it to someone else, or a charity shop if it is worthwhile, turning a negative in to a positive and doubling up on your good deed. One persons ‘rubbish’ is another persons treasure.
Many of the objects in Kettle’s Yard, are repurposed, found, gifted. Each has it’s story of provenance. I hope you find time during our second Lockdown to make space for yourself, to encourage wellbeing and ease the difficult situation we find ourselves in; and in the future look forward to an opportunity to visit Kettle’s Yard and see for yourself.
Stay well x rLG