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Abbey Gardens Spring Event, Photo: Nina Pope

Abbey Gardens new season

A little nudge to anyone in or near East London who feels like a bit of gardening:

The new season is well underway at Abbey Gardens, a communal veetable garden which we designed in 2008/9 and which goes from strength to strength each year, now run by an active local Friends group, and - as always - open to absolutely everyone regardless of green fingers or not!

Details on what's happening when are here, or just drop in.
Open to anyone gardening sessions take place on
Tuesdays 1pm-3pm
Thursdays 4pm-7pm
Saturdays 10am-4pm
All tools / guidance are provided free.

Acorn Bank, Penrith - National Trust residency

I'm very happy to be this year's Dorothy Una Ratcliffe Fellow! (that sounds rather grand doesnt it?!)

This means I'm artist-in-residence at the National Trust's lovely Acorn Bank property near Penrith during the summer, culminating in a show there from August to October '17. Dorothy was its owner for a relatively short while before it was the Trust's, and she was by all accounts quite a character (see right).
I know we would have got on!

You can read more about the residency here.

VISIT THE SHOP HERE

You Heard It Here First!

Stoked to be having a flash sale on this coming Mother's Day!

An array of lovely things for campaign screenings

New Era for The Closer We Get & another island screening!

Jen Skinner and Sally Hodgson work with me on all the outreach and educational screenings we are now doing with The Closer We Get - and it's quite a task connecting us between Nottingham, the Isle of Tiree and the Lake District! Thank the Lord for Skype....

This isn't the take-a-bow-at-a-film-festival work that's a lot of fun at the start of a film's life, but it is massively rewarding to get the film in front of the people who wil not hear about it without our hard work to get it to them: in particular we are targetting trainee carers at the moment, and have designed this pack (pictured) for them. The materials we have designed will enable the care sector to use the film in any way that helps them think about and discuss their important role in the lives of those receiving adult social care packages in their own homes - as my Mum Ann was.

We have already had great feedback from this sector on the film and how it encourages frank discussions about the role of carers and care-givers - so if you or anyone you know thinks they could use the film and our other learning resources in training, CPD etc - get in touch with us here and let's get the ball rolling.

(Thanks on a big scale to Bertha Britdoc Connects for making this all possible too)

Oh - and our next screening (and it's FREE but please book here) is on the mobile cinema, The Screen Machine, moored up in Brodick on my beloved Isle of Arran on Monday March 13th - screening starts at 13.30pm. I will be attending for a dicussion after the film, thanks to funding from Big Lottery Scotland for our See Beyond Stroke campaign.

Afterlife - with French & Mottershead

Experience the moving audio art work ‘Woodland’ by French & Mottershead whilst lying in 'Top Hat Wood' beside the Sutton Hoo burial mounds. Then join Somewhere for a hosted discussion with artists and archaeologists about this moving audio work and the ‘invisible’ bodies which lay in the Sutton Hoo burial ground.

‘Woodland’ is a poetic, visceral work that describes your body’s slow fade into the leaf litter of the forest floor. This work connects you deeply to your body, and considers the biological and chemical processes that continue long after you are conscious, as you are gently subsumed by the earth over thousands of years.

For the Afterlife discussion, we will be joined by French & Mottershead (Artists), Dr Carolyn Rando (Bioarchaeologist and Forensic Anthropologist) and Angus Wainwright (Archaeologist for Sutton Hoo).

Date: Sunday 19th March 2017
Price: £3.00 Includes refreshments
Booking: Please call Sutton Hoo to book 01394 389714
Contact Info: This event has been programmed by Somewhere on behalf of Sutton Hoo you can contact us here.
Location: Sutton Hoo, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 3DJ

Times:
2.00 – 2.30 Woodland audio work (1st group)
2.30 – 3.00 Woodland audio work (2nd group)
3.15 – 4.15 Afterlife panel discussion

You listen to ‘Woodland’ via an audio player with headphones (all supplied). Whilst listening you will be lying on the ground within a designated woodland area.

Death Cafe Logo by Phil Cooper of Petit Mal

Death Cafe ...

At a Death Café people meet in a safe, welcoming space to drink tea and coffee and eat cake - whilst talking about death and dying so that they can get on with the business of living.

This will be the first Death Cafe to take place at Sutton Hoo but one of over 4000 to have now taken place in 42 countries worldwide. This cafe will be hosted in Tranmer House from where Edith Pretty looked out and contemplated what we now know to be the mounds of an Anglo Saxon burial ground in her garden. Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a support or counselling session.

The event is FREE but please call Sutton Hoo to book: 01394 389714
Donations appreciated for refreshments

This Death Cafe has been organised by Somewhere on behalf of Sutton Hoo you can contact us here

For more information on the amazing Death Cafe movement visit deathcafe.com

Date: Saturday March 4th 2017
Time: 5.30 – 7.30
Location: Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 3DJ

At Sutton Hoo - Death & Cake

We've been quietly working away at the National Trust's wonderful Sutton Hoo site in Suffolk for a while and now we've programmed an upcoming series of events. First up - come and hear founder Jon Underwood talk about the inspirational and amazing Death Cafe movement:

"Death and Cake”
Can talking about death make life a better place to be?

Archaeologists and visitors alike speculate on the history of Sutton Hoo. What kinds of ritual might have ended with an enormous ship being dragged up to the burial mounds we see today? However we interpret these intriguing remnants from deaths in the distant past, there seems no doubt that the end of life was significant and visible in Anglo Saxon society.

Which ceremonies, spaces or rituals remain to help us think about, understand or even ‘manage’ death today?

At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death, with the objective of ‘increasing our awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’.

Started in Jon Underwood’s London kitchen in 2011, over 4000 Death Cafes have since been hosted in 42 different countries using the simple guidelines provided on the website.

Clearly we do want to talk about death nowadays!

Come along to hear more about the interesting Death Cafe model and why Jon thinks it has been such a success.

You can find out more about the Death Cafe and Jon here: http://deathcafe.com

This first event is on Saturday 25 Feb 2017 from 17:30 - 19:00 with tickets a steal at £3 (refreshments are provided, places are limited so do book ahead on 01394 389714)

See more about Sutton Hoo & booking info here

We will be hosting our own 'actual' Death Cafe at Sutton Hoo the weekend following Jon’s talk and then there's and an event with friends and fellow artists French & Mottershead to follow!

The obligatory terraselfie

To China, and don't spare the warriors

I finally got around to posting a piece I wrote during my recent trip to China, with The Closer We Get - read it here!

It covers everything from dumplings to screenings.

Farewell, Ian W Guthrie (12.10.1935 - 26.12.2016)

Karen & her dad Ian pictured at 'Tomorrow, Today', NW Cambridge in 2014

Bye bye, Dad

My Dad Ian William Guthrie died in the early hours of Boxing Day, aged 81.

It's not something I'd normally post here, but he returned to playing an enormous part in my life in recent years, and I know many of you would want to know. Like my mum Ann, Ian too had suffered a stroke, but his left him largely without speech, and to be without his powers of communication proved almost unbearable for him. He survived 5 months, but as a much-diminished man.

Dad featured in a number of early Somewhere projects, such as the 1997 video installation Homespun, re-exhibited at Kettles Yard (Cambridge) in our 2014 retrospective.

Yet it was the success of our recent 'collaborative' film The Closer We Get that took both of us by surprise. I was even more surprised (and delighted) when he showed himself to be an ardent supporter of the film, despite its exposure of our family's hitherto private story and despite my putting 'on the record' what I really did make of him, good and bad. At any opportunity, Dad would come to film screenings and answer audience questions when they came up. He took what was sometimes rather sharp press criticism of him on the chin with great wisdom and humour, and was immensely proud of the film's success, and of me.
He showed that all families, any family, can survive a storm - as we did. And that he knew that speaking out didn't mean I loved him any less.

I made my choice to live my life as an artist even before I reached school aged four, but this always baffled him (an accountant by trade, albeit - I later realised - a very reluctant one). However, he never tried to stop me, seeing in his little redheaded daughter much of his own willfulness, tenacity and wanderlust.

As it turns out, the best accountants and artists need these characteristics in spades, so thanks Dad, for giving me them.

Happy Christmas from Somewhere

How can we ever tire of this picture from 2001's 'Pope & Guthrie's Recommended Dose' ?!

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