Reconnecting art and the experiences of cultural displacement; without right angles - new rural design and architecture projects.
2012 Kurt Schwitters DIY Summer School
This year the KSDIY Summer School will focus on, (i) new approaches to sustainable rural crafts, design and architecture and, (ii) art, craft and architecture projects that address issues of cultural displacement and diversity in rural England; (iii) researching Kurt Schwitters, cultural displacement and the Entartete Kunst, and documenting the narratives of farm barns and marginal farming communities, new work with refugees and asylum seekers in rural England.
Activities taking place Mon 16 - Sun 22 July 2012
Workshops - No right angles; new rural crafts and design
1. Pod and Snaths – cutting swathes through the thickets of despair!
(i) Steam bent sculptural structures. Steam bending large timber structures and sustainable wood architecture and design workshop. Led by international designer and artist Charlie Whinney.
(ii) Woodland coppice crafts and skills, Including traditional earth charcoal making, woodland coppice crafts and tools, and green wood structures. Led by Sam Ansell, Lake District coppice crafts expert, and Bill Hogarth Memorial Trust training scheme graduate. Also input from expert Cumbrian woodcarver and furniture maker Steve Grundy.
(iii) Hedgerow public art arts, crafts and basketry. Introduction to wide range of crafts projects and skills utilizing the hedgerow as a creative resource and context for new art work. The ancient hedgerows as a treasure trove of crafts materials and creative inspiration. Led by basketmaker Joan Sampson and artist/embroiderer/bookmaker Elizabeth Shorrock.
Research seminars - Art, architecture and the narratives of displacement
(v) Entartete Kunst – Roots of Modernism workshop.
Design and creating a public art project/ memorial plaza in honour of the Entartete Kunst artists designated as ‘Degenerate’, and later persecuted by the Hitler and the Nazis. A major tree root sculpture and design of a table artwork in honour of Kurt Schwitters’ muse; Anna Blume. Led by artist Jill Rock.
(vi) Refugee Embassy and Refugee Art Museum projects.
New architecture and museum design projects articulating specific narratives of exile and cultural displacement, also how artists and architects are documenting the experiences of recent asylum seekers and refugees in Britain. Led by architect Natasha Reid.
(vii) Remaking the Merz Barn; restoring Modernist Art and Architecture Projects.
The restoration of the Merz Barn, the design of the Merzbau pavilion project being proposed for Tate Britain (2013), future plans for a Kurt Schwitters Art Museum, and restoration of the Cylinders Estate, Elterwater. Led by Andrew Shepherd, Course Director Building Restoration AA London (tbc), and Ian Hunter Merz Barn project Cumbria.
Special ‘hands on’ practical skills and building projects
The Summer school workshops will also provide people with basic ‘hands on’ and making skills and experience in some of the following:
1. The Berger snath – designing a new lightweight English scythe snath.
2. Orchard Pods – using coppice skills and steam bending to design and construct temporary living and studio accommodation for visiting artists and crafts people at the Cylinders Estate.
3. The Merzbauten models – constructing a series of 3D models tracing the evolution of Kurt Schwitters’ seminal Merz Barn and Merzbauten projects.
4. Benches and tables as art works – design and construction of new variant art/rural vernacular wooden public seating; benches and tables as public art works.
5. The Entartete Kunst Memorial Plaza – introduction to basic landscape design and public art design and construction techniques and skils.
Scything & Field Crafts Weekend Sat 21 and Sun 22 July 2012
Saturday - introduction to traditional scything and haymaking (10am–4pm)
Sunday - Public open day, end of Summer School exhibitions, crafts and scything demonstrations for the general public
Summer School evening seminars*, talks, films and BBQ/concert
Evening talks and seminars: (7.30 – 9.30pm) To be confirmed details available later.
Tues 18 July Rural Diversities. New contexts for woodlands crafts and design – promoting greater rural cultural diversity and also wider BME access to rural woodland crafts skills and rural cultural events.
Wed 19 July - Curating Merz. Artists and curators talking about their respective Kurt Schwitters’ exhibitions and research projects – proposals for a MerzNorth festival in June/July 2013.
Fri 20 July Cumbria Rural Design centre? Proposed future uses for the Cylinders Estate; as a new rural crafts and design research facility, facilities for visiting craftspeople and artists residentials, and as a Refugee Art Museum and Study center, etc.
Sat 21 July - KSDIY 2012 Knees Up! Summer School BBQ and concert with the Lakeland Fiddlers (tbc).
Screen in the Woods: Daily evening film screenings in the woods near the Merz Barn. 10pm – midnight, “Deep, deep in the woods, something is…”.
Fees and accommodation:
Workshop Fees*: £50 full registration Students £30.
Accommodation on site free: Yurt, family tents, benders accommodation available on site.
Facilities: Site has public toilets, hot showers, kitchen, workshop and art gallery.
Location: Merz Barn, Cylinders Estate, Elterwater Langdale Cumbria LA22 9JB
*To be confirmed.
For more information and bookings contact Ian Hunter:
littoral [at] btopenworld.com
t. 01706 827961 or m. 07796 607 167
What: KSDIY-12 - 2012 Kurt Schwitters DIY Summer School
Where: Merz Barn, Cylinders Estate, Elterwater, Langdale, Cumbria LA22 9JB
When: Mon 16 - Sun 22 Jul 2012, activities taking place throughout each day
- Visit the Littoral Arts Trust website
- Visit the Merz Barn website
Contact: Ian Hunter littoral [at] btopenworld.com
Map: View events on the map here