Book for the Kurt Schwitters 2012 DIY Summer Art School

KSDIY-12   2012 Kurt Schwitters DIY Summer School 16 – 22 July

Merz Barn, Cylinders Estate, Elterwater Langdale Cumbria LA22 9JB

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; documenting the narratives of refugees and asylum seekers.    Draft Programme: (9am – 5pm daily)

Workshop Strand I  – No right angles; new rural crafts and design

(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.  Charcoal making video (2011 KSDIY summer school)  <>

(iii)  Blades, handles, hooks and hand tools.  Proper care and maintenance of traditional woodland crafts tools and equipment; sharpening and repairing saws, axes, knives, scythes, chisels, etc., and an introduction to scything and traditional woodworking tools and equipment. Led by Tom Brandon

(iv)  Hedgerow 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.  <>

Workshop Strand II – Art architecture; the narratives of cultural 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)  Revalorising and restoring Modernist Art and Architecture Projects.  The restoration of the Merz Barn, the design of the Merzbau pavilion project at Tate Britain (2013), and future plans for a Kurt Schwitters Art Museum and restoration of the Cylinders Estate, Elterwater.  Led by Andrew Shepherd, Head of Architecture Heritage Restoration AA London, and Ian Hunter Merz Barn project Cumbria.  <>

Special ‘hands on’ practical skills and building projects  (16-22 July)

The Summer school workshops will also provide people with basic ‘hands on’ and making skills and experience in some of the following:

1. Designs for a prototype English lightweight scythe snath; the John Berger Scythe

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 small scale 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.

Cumbria Scything & Field Crafts Week-end  Sat. 21 and Sun. 22nd July

Saturday 21st July – introduction to traditional scything and haymaking (10am–4.00pm)

Sunday 22nd July – 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)  More details available later.

Tues. 18th 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. 19th July        MerzNorth 2013.  Artists and crafts people talking about their respective Kurt Schwitters’ exhibitions and art research projects – proposed for the MerzNorth festival in June/July 2013.

Fri. 20th 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. 21st July          KSDIY 2012 Knees Up!  Summer School BBQ and concert with the Lakeland Fiddlers (tbc).

Screen in the Woods:  Daily evening film screenings 10.00pm – midnite, “Deep, deep in the woods, something is…”  Programmed by international ‘Cineaste’ and curator Graham Martin.

Fees and accommodation:

Workshop Fees*:   £50 full registration    Students £30.

Accommodation free:   Yurt, family tents, benders accommodation available on site.  Facilities: Site has public toilets, hot showers, kitchen, workshop and art gallery.

For more information and bookings  Contact Ian Hunter

t. 01706 827961  or m. 07796 607 167

Littoral Arts Trust

Merz Barn project:

*50% of the workshop fees income will go to the Bill Hogarth Memorial Trust (BHMT)


Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: