Grizedale Arts

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Grizedale Arts is a contemporary arts residency and commissioning agency in the central Lake District in rural Northern England. It conducts cultural projects locally, nationally and internationally. Its focus under director Adam Sutherland is on emerging artists and increasing public access to the contemporary arts.[1] The agency's residency programme is financially supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation[2] and Arts Council England.


The predecessor of Grizedale Arts, the Grizedale Society, was founded in 1968 by the Forestry Commission to further the arts within the Grizedale forest. It initially concentrated on theatre and the visual arts. In 1977, it established the Sculpture Project, which was noted for its siting of environmental sculptures by artists including David Nash, Robert Koenig and Andy Goldsworthy within the Grizedale Forest.[3] These sculptures are now maintained by the Forestry Commission and are accessible to the public.[4] In 1990, the Society was awarded the Prudential Award for the Arts.[5] In 1999, for financial reasons, the board closed its theatre (the "Theatre in the Forest") and decided to concentrate on exploring new approaches to artistic production and exhibition.

In 2007, the organisation moved its base from Grizedale Forest to the historic hill farm of Lawson Park, overlooking Coniston Water. Once owned by John Ruskin and a working farm until the 1950s, architects Sutherland Hussey were employed to transform the farmhouse and barns into an artists' residency base, opened in 2009 by Sir Nicholas Serota of Tate. The surrounding land is being returned to productive use, and the gardens – designed by artist / film-maker Karen Guthrie – open annually under the National Garden Scheme.

Recent projects[edit]

Grizedale Arts' collaborative projects have included:


Artists who have been involved with the Grizedale Arts programme include:

Anna Best, Jordan Baseman, David Blandy, Simon Poulter, Marcus Coates, Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope, Olivia Plender, Lorrice Douglas, Juneau/projects, Kerry Stewart, Emily Wardill, Graeme Roger, Rob Kesseler, Ken Russell, Kevin Reid, Jen Lui, Tim Olden, Simon & Tom Bloor, Matt Stokes, Nathaniel Mellors, Bedwyr Williams, public works,, Mark Wallinger, Jeremy Deller, Tim Olden, Olaf Breuning, Mark Gubb, Pablo Bronstein, Bryan & Laura Davies, Phil Collins, Spartacus Chetwynd, Harold Offeh, Jay Yung, Dorian Moore, Alex Frost, Guest Room & Barnaby Hosking.

Notable successes among Grizedale alumni include Jeremy Deller and Mark Wallinger winning the Turner Prize in 2004 and 2007 respectively; Marcus Coates, Olivia Plender, Ryan Gander, Graham Gussin, Giorgio Sadotti and Jeremy Deller receiving Paul Hamlyn Awards; Bedwyr Williams was the Welsh artist in residence at the 2005 Venice Biennale; Mark Wallinger representing Great Britain in the 2001 Venice Biennale; Paul Rooney (artist) winning 2009's Northern Art Prize; Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope winning the Northern Art Prize in 2008.


  1. ^ An Arts Strategy for South Lakeland Commissioned by South Lakeland District Council, 2004. (page 31)
  2. ^ Esmée Fairbairn Foundation Grants made in 2006
  3. ^ Popularising public sculpture in Britain From landscape gardens to forest trails University of South Africa
  4. ^ Details of Grizedale Forest Park Forestry Commission website
  5. ^ Grizedale Arts website, history page

editors Bill Grant & Paul Harris (1991). The Grizedale Experience: Sculpture, Arts & Theatre in a Lakeland Forest. Edinburgh: Canongate Press. ISBN 0-86241-354-0. 

External links[edit]

Artist links[edit]