A Visit To Blackwell House And Maddy Humberstone's "Lost in Cumbria" Exhibition
Jules, Wendy, Becca and I made a trip to Blackwell house on Friday 1st April. Jules obligingly drove and took the scenic route, green fields and lots of lambs! We arrived in glorious sunshine and freezing temperatures to a spectacular view from the car park of snow capped hills, and when we rounded the corner of the house, the huge vista of Lake Windermere in front of us. The house was purposely designed to be south facing with views of the lake.
Enter via the gift shop, prices not for the faint hearted but well worth a browse. Jules checked out the best way to go round the house and exhibition and we followed his lead. The house itself is stunning, and despite the dark wood panelling is full of light. Head down a quite dim corridor and arrive at the white room, a beautiful room full of ornate friezes and plaster relief with window seats to sit in the sun and admire the view. Definitely my favourite of the whole house. Details, like the door handles, created to look delicate like leaves, richly coloured stained glass windows throughout, and ornate carvings everywhere made the house a fascinating discovery.
But the pièce de résistance: the exhibition. I had no idea what to expect, and we saved the best till last. On entering the room our first sight was of a life-sized casually dressed Peter Rabbit! And the fanciful amazing creatures adorning the walls, well, it’s a good job I took lots of pictures as I couldn’t have described them all. If Jules adds the pictures you will see him resting in the perfect selfie chair carefully reproduced by Maddie from one in the bedroom.
I will leave further descriptions to the photos but check out the snake...
We headed into Windermere for lunch, delicious, and THEN we went down to the lake and met the artist! Maddy is the most unpretentious person, she has a great sense of humour and delighted us with tales of what materials she used for her models, you would never have guessed in a million years. She is a true child of our times recycling literally everything that comes her way. It was the most enjoyable day all round.
We said our goodbyes, Maddy headed back to work at the Beatrix Potter theatre and we headed home, via a refreshment break at the Eagle and Child, at which point I have to say we thought Becca was going for a dip in the stream!
Huge thanks for being allowed this trip and thanks to Jules for driving, a most agreeable tour guide and host. We had a lot of fun, I would recommend a visit and reading up on the house and Maddy.
Blog By France Trainor, with photos by frances trainor and becca snow. driving by Jules.
Join us on a coach trip to Blackwell, Lakeland Arts to visit James Fox's exhibition 'Something in Common' alongside an artist talk
Thursday 1st September
Book your ticket: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/395832765457