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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' ?!

Sutton Hoo delve

Nina and I are working with the National Trust at the mo, on their re-thinking of one of the most iconic heritage sites in England, Sutton Hoo - a mecca for all lovers of the Anglo Saxons.

What an incredible archive there is there (and elsewhere too, as we are learning) of images of the digs throughout the centuries, and of the fascinating individuals who have been part of Sutton Hoo's story.....

Loved this picture of a ?70's archaeological team there!

Beijing friends, me, random lobster

Farewell China, we hope to be back.....

I'd a marvellous time in China thanks largely to Lulu (left) and Cherelle (centre) who put many hard hours into their iDOCS Documentary Forum at Beijing Film Academy. It was an unforgettable experience, to sit in the vast cinema listening to a whole new audience so far from Largs, laughing and crying.

The lobster - as far as I know - had nothing to do with the event.

Karen hits Beijing for the China premiere of The Closer We Get

The Closer We Get - to Beijing!

Prospection on show at Kettle's Yard
Photo: Nina Pope


The last of our 3 Cambridge Festival of Ideas events:

WHAT’S THE FUTURE FOR THE PAST?- from Portakabins to nuclear waste

Saturday 29 October: 5:30pm - 7:15pm, Free but Bookable in Advance

Institute of Astronomy, Sackler Lecture Theatre, Madingley Road, CB3 0HA
Inspired by our 25-year (Yep, you heard that right folks) multi-disciplinary survey of NW Cambridge, ‘Prospection’, this event presents a panel of leading heritage experts including Sarah May (Research Associate, UCL Institute of Archaeology), Rachael Kiddey (Research Associate, University of York & Editorial Assistant at the Independent Social Research Foundation) and James Dixon (Museum of London Archaeology & 'Prospector') who will present a thought-provoking array of fieldwork and research exploring what the future holds for the past and what the past holds for the future.
The panel will be followed by refreshments and a chance to browse the archive boxes of the first two years’ findings of ‘Prospection’.

John Lambert at work on an old manuscript - Cambridgeshire Archives' Mr Paper

TIME CHANGES (ALMOST) EVERYTHING - what, even a meringue?

Another brilliant, free event we're doing for Cambridge Festival of Ideas:

Saturday 29 October: 2:00pm - 3:00pm
, Free but Bookable in Advance - Limited Spaces!

Gravel Hill Farm, Artist Studios, Madingley Rise Madingley Road, CB3 0FU

Have you ever wondered how to look after your treasured possessions? Why newspaper cuttings yellow, elastic snaps or whether silver tarnish is a good or a bad thing?
Challenge our experts - bring along a personal possession of (almost*) any kind and find out just how the passage of time will affect it, and how a museum would or could look after it for posterity. (Karen is bringing a vintage meringue if you need inspiration)

Julie Dawson & Kirstie Williams from Cambridge Museums and John Lambert of Cambridgeshire Archives (pictured here) will make a selection from the audience’s items and share their opinions and knowledge in this lively and accessible forum.

*Please limit size to max. 40cm x 40cm x 40cm, and be sensible - no pets / nasty substances please

Summer 2016 - with the NWC development encroaching on the horizon


As part of Cambridge's Festival of Ideas, we are working with Cambridge Archaeological Unit for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to smash up a bit of our art, at our invitation!

Saturday 22 October: 11:00am - 3:00pm

Gravel Hill Farm, Artist Studios, Madingley Rise Madingley Road, CB3 0FU

As part of the Prehistory and Archaeology Day, join professional archaeologists on a hands-on dig with a difference: Excavating a contemporary art work. The NW Cambridge outdoor sculpture 'Tomorrow, Today' by artists Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope was completed in 2014 with the help of many volunteers. Handbuilt from thousands of tons of soil excavated for the site's archaeological survey, the artwork will eventually be buried under the encroaching NW development. In the meantime, weather erosion has begun to reveal small artefacts in the sculpture's surface, that can be excavated and recorded for posterity - with your help. Expect to see worked flint, prehistoric pottery and more emerging as you learn about both this unique artwork and how to dig, identify and record artefacts.

(See for more)

Free places but book ahead here

(NB Equipment provided but wear outdoor clothes and bring along lunch etc)

China on the horizon

Karen travels to China with The Closer We Get in November to screen in iDocs and speak at the Beijing Film Academy, and we just heard we have been awarded support from the British Council!

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