Our first exhibition of 2022 sees us in a new venue – the Dock Museum, Barrow-in-Furness.   We don’t use the word ‘unique’ often but this is an exception as the Museum is a striking modern building built inside a nineteenth century dock (you can still see the plants growing in the stonework of the dock walls).  

We asked our artists to respond to the theme of ‘Wind in the Willows’ and, whilst we did point them in the direction of Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 book with its famed anthropomorphised animals, we emphasised that the theme didn’t need to be taken literally.  It could be used as the inspiration for abstract work or there was the potential to think about the riverbank, nature or a feeling that the theme evoked. The result is a beguiling exhibition in a variety of media including paintings, prints, papercuts, mixed media, illustrations, ceramics and wood.

Some images from the exhibition

“I live beside a small river the character of which changes, not only throughout the seasons, but sometimes, by the hour,” said printmaker Kath Lockhart. “I also travel on the canal system in my narrow boat so water informs much of my work and this is where I focussed my attention for this series of prints as a nod to the setting for the tale. The river is moving all the time, the canal is more sedentary and I wanted to use the marks made when cutting the lino block and layering of colours to express this.” 

Marie Wright’s work follows the northern landscape from the Cumbrian coast to Northumberland and is inspired by windswept field boundaries that define the pattern of the landscape. The work juxtaposes fragments from archaeological finds with contemporary landscape that reflects the frail nature of that landscape and the marks and changes made by man.  

Urswick Stone Walls Settlement and Little Urswick and Furness Hoard are inspired by exploring and drawing at Little Urswick and the Stone Walls Settlement. The work includes the layers of history from the past, incorporating finds and fragments developed from visiting The Dock Museum and 50 Finds in Cumbria. Work such as Field Boundary II. Crook’s Wood and Windswept, Low Furness are drawn in the open air and then developed into screenprint and collagraph and reflect the boundaries and prevailing wind around the Birkrigg Common area.

Heather Hanna has created inter-related yet individual pieces of work which specifically focus on abstracting imagery based on riverbanks; – water and undergrowth.

Saturday 22 January to Saturday 12 March 2022

The Dock Museum, North Road, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA14 2PW

Open Wed to Sun, 11.00am until 3.30pm
Free of charge

You can contact the Museum on 01229 876400 or [email protected].

‘Wind in the Willows’