Blog Archives

Creative Responses to Kiefer Unveiled!

As our ARTIST ROOMS Anselm Kiefer exhibition enters its final weeks we are unveiling some brilliant creative responses from groups that we have been working with – you can see these in the flesh by visiting Tullie House.


Starting in the reception area we have an impressive display of torsos created during workshops with NACRO and Carlisle Key – two local organisations working with young people.

The workshops explored identity a key theme in Kiefer’s works. The young people thought about what makes us who we are, and how much of that is linked to a ‘national identity’.

sideThe resulting decorated mannequins are a representation of themelves; their inspirations, their aspirations, and the things that influence the direction they have taken and who they have become.

They range from being a celebration of the music they enjoy, the colours that make them smile, or a tribute to lost loved ones.


The Tullie Toddlers were even inspired by the work of of our young people and created their own mannequin!

As well as the mannequins our Community Room is playing host to a large scale mixed media piece created by visitors to our Kiefer inspired Museums at Night event. The Mob Masterpiece uses some of Anselm Kiefer methods and media, and was created over the evening.


Many hands make art work!

The work our family visitors created during February Half Term inspired by the exhibition is also still on display in the Community Room.


As well as art works some of the young people we work with have also developed an innovative new gallery trail. Kiefer2Music explores the use of music and song lyrics as a way to express their thoughts and feelings about Kiefer’s work. You can check out the blog here or use your phone or tablet in the exhibition to experience the music and art works together!

That isn’t all – we have one more exciting response project to come. Local school James Rennie have been working with Prism Arts to develop an exhibition of creative responses to the Kiefer exhibition which will be on display in our garden from the 27 May!


Anselm Kiefer Young Peoples’ Project


Tullie House has teamed up with Nacro and Carlisle Key to work with local young people on a project inspired by the work of Anselm Kiefer, whose works feature in our current ARTIST ROOMS Anselm Kiefer exhibition. Catherine our Young People Coordinator gives us an update of what they’ve been up to.

In the workshops the young people have been using mixed media on canvas to explore their own identities; what is it that makes us who we are, and how much of it is linked to a ‘national identity’?

collageThe young people have noticed that Kiefer uses a lot of different materials, and also includes text in some of his work, so during the workshops we have tried to achieve a similar effect by using collage, paint, stencils, and newsprint altogether on one piece.

They have been encouraged to use pictures, words, and phrases which bear some significance to their lives, and that represent them in some way. The groups have also been re-visiting, adding to, and reusing pieces that they have started in earlier sessions, which is also something that Kiefer does with his own work.

The groups have been working with local musician Steven Pearson to explore the use of music and song lyrics as a way of expressing their thoughts and feelings about Kiefer’s work. It can sometimes be hard to communicate personal responses to art work, and using another reference can make it easier. Steven has done some sessions which involve layering sounds, and mixing music in a similar way that Kiefer layers materials and mixes different artistic mediums.

The young people will be sharing a ‘musical tour’ with museum visitors, which through the use of QR codes will direct people in the gallery to songs on their ‘kiefer2music’ blog (coming soon), where the young people have chosen music they feel links to pieces of Kiefer’s artwork.

finished piece

The groups are working towards a larger-scale creative response to the exhibition, which will go on display in the museum reception in time for our Museums at Night event of Thursday 14 May, where the young people will be able to share the work they have been doing.

The project is supported by funding from ARTIST ROOMS who aim to engage ‘new’ young audiences (13 to 25 years old) across the UK with the ARTIST ROOMS collection and artists, in a meaningful and enjoyable way.

THe Shed – Capturing Cumbria’s Voice

7 March to 23 March 2015

Steve and jenn

A brand new collaborative piece of work by two of Cumbria’s emerging artists is on now in THe Shed.

Steve Crook and Jenn Mattinson’s project uses photographs, sound effects and recorded interviews to create some fascinating insights into some of Cumbria’s residents.  For example, who knew that horse physiotherapy was practiced?  Now’s your time to find out!  Jenn as guest blogger tells us about their work:

Capturing Cumbria’s Voice  Social History in the making

We have been working on a project that explores the relationship between portrait photography, people’s stories and sound.

The lives of four folk from Cumbria was our focus. From a variety of social and economic backgrounds, Gordon, Ross, Dawn and Bob shared their passions, experiences, memories and personality through their willingness to be photographed and interviewed.  The result is a demonstration of how seemingly ordinary people living within our region are contributing to its unique social history.

The four selected profiles, that appear as a slideshow of images and sound, have been designed to capture interest from a wide ranging audience.  The people behind the profiles are very genuine, honest individuals at different points in their lives, expressing a real passion for their chosen subjects.  Themes include transport enthusiasm, aspirations to become a champion boxer, horse physiotherapy and a love of music.

In situ

In situ

Steve and I have married together a collection of artistic mediums – portrait photography, oral history, spoken word, poetry and sound effects – and hope that the result will reflect the ways in which different art forms can work together and complement each other to provide a slightly more unconventional way of showcasing and displaying artistic work.  This is our first artistic collaboration.




Here’s a little more about each artist:

Steve Crook’s photography belongs to a genre that combines portraiture and social documentation, inspired by the likes of Daniel Meadows, Tony Ray-Jones, Chris Killip and Larry Fink.  A great deal of his work is presented in the form of photostories or collections.  Recent projects include ‘Rare Breed’, a study of the members of Springfield Homing Club and ‘Jubilee, the way we were’, a series of portraits taken on the day of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  Steve is currently working with descendants of World War One soldiers to create a photographic link between those who fought and those they fought for.

Jenn Mattinson is a freelance Creative Practitioner, specialising in oral history, sound and media, theatre and reminiscence.  She is passionate about working creatively in local communities, with young people, adults, the older generation and in an intergenerational context.  Jenn is currently working with Morecambe Bay Partnership to facilitate and deliver a four year oral history project centred on the inshore fishing communities across Morecambe Bay.  She is also leading a series of creative arts sessions for older people in West Cumbria and for people living with dementia at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.

See it in the Work in Progress area of THe Shed until the 23rd.



What is THe Shed?  Click and find out.

What is THe Shed? Click and find out.

THe Shed – All change (again)

As ever there’s another quick turn around happened and another round the corner.  So I would encourage you to come and see the wonderful work presented by the Great Art Quest in its last week and our apprentices’ display in its first.

Our ever-changing Shed

Our ever-changing Shed

I’ll start with Great Art Quest, as it’s been on display for a little over two weeks now and it’s fair to say that there’s been a very warm response from visitors to this project, one visitor stating:

Well done to all the talented children who made the fantastic art work for Art Quest.  Love them all x

This enthused response is reflected by the guest blog post by the project’s lead, Anna.  See if her enthusiasm for the project can tempt you to come along.

The Great Art Quest exhibition in THe Shed is up and running! On the 26th January we had a Celebration Day with all the teachers, pupils and artists involved in the exhibition – the children had the chance to see each other’s work and perform their storytelling pieces in our Lecture Theatre.

Visitors have been so impressed with the quality of the children’s work, and we’ve had some great comments left for us.  Five primary schools took part in the project and created these pieces:

Morland Area C of E Primary School

Morland Area C of E Primary School’s multimedia work

Morland Area C of E Primary School created this amazing sculpture inspired by one of the paintings in our collection, ‘The Rift within the Lute’ by Arthur Hughes. Listen carefully when you visit and you’ll hear the lady’s thoughts!

Newtown Community Primary School

Newtown Community Primary School’s chimney


Newtown Community Primary School made Dixon’s Chimney out of wooden printing blocks, with the words printed on the hanging related to industry and Carlisle’s history.

Alston & Nenthead Primary Schools’ mobile




Alston & Nenthead Primary Schools were inspired by Edward Burne-Jones’ ‘The Battle of Flodden Field’, and made this set of pieces made from paper pulp and metal foil, along with this beautiful mobile.

Kirkby Thore's fabulous textile piece

Kirkby Thore’s fabulous textile landscape

And finally, Kirkby Thore used our collection of landscapes as inspiration for this incredible textile piece showing the view of their local area.


The exhibition will be on display until Sunday 15th February, so if you’ve not had a chance to take a look you still have a few days left!


If you saw yesterday’s Meet the Staff blog then you’ll know that Cassie and her colleagues have been hard at work this week installing their own display in THe Shed.  As part of the Work In Progress area Cassie, Claire and Katie reveal their insights into life as a Tullie House apprentice.

Apprentices hard at work

Tullie’s apprentices hard at work



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