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Karen speaking at Kettle's Yard, her Mum Ann on screen.

The Closer Karen Gets….

As of course many of you regular Somewhere visitors will know the almost complete 'The Closer We Get' is our fourth feature length film - and the latest work to come from a collaboration that has now spanned almost 20 years since Karen and I were at art school together in Edinburgh. As mentioned below until Sunday this week there's still a chance to see the other 3 feature docs. as well as some of our art works new and old in Past, Present, Somewhere at Kettle's Yard gallery in Cambridge.

The pieces on show include one of our first projects HOMESPUN made back in 1997 when we spent a week making video/performance pieces 'live' from our parents homes. Karen has used some of this footage to great effect in The Closer We Get - and this was just one of the things she spoke about last Wednesday night during a special talk at the gallery about the development of the film.

It's sometimes a difficult but often amazing experience to watch your own films with an audience but in the case of a film like this - which is SO personal to the director - this is certainly always going to be a challenge. It's one that last week I realised Karen is ready to rise too! She spoke with fantastic clarity about working with her family on the film and the, perhaps, unexpected strength and solace the process had offered to her during extremely emotional and challenging times for them all.

For me it was only the second time to have seen clips from the film with a group of people (aside from Alice, our wonderful editor, and Karen!) and it was reassuring to see both how touching and funny the audience found the material. Of course I think it's a wonderful piece of work and at moments profoundly moving, but having been in the living room for some of the filming, knowing Karen for so long and of course supporting her through the long editing process one can loose clarity on how a fresh audience will see the film. We are so close to finishing the project and it's taken a long time so I think it was a great boost for Karen and indeed me to feel the atmosphere in the room with this intimate audience at Kettle's Yard.

I'm really glad Karen recorded her talk … I was thinking forward to when she will still be talking about the film in years to come and wondering if we will recall the clarity she spoke with on this occasion. I think many people leaving felt like me - lucky to have been there at the 'start' of the journey the film will soon be making from a private family story to a film with a public.

'Reading' as it originally appeared in HOMESPUN in 1997.

Honesty Table in situ at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Nov. 2014

Honesty Table - Northern Twin!

On in the brilliant Grizedale Arts retrospective show 'The Nuisance of Landscape' is the Northern twin of our Kettles Yard Honesty Table! It's presently stocked with cool Korean preserves mainly.

We also have our film 'Little Deluxe Living' in the show, our multiple 'Titchy / Kitschy', and some faux-Tudor pottery from our film 'Living with the Tudors'.
Quite a mash-up :-)


The Nuisance of Landscape: Grizedale - The Sequel
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 5AL Telephone 01539 722464

Monday - Saturday
10.30am - 5pm

(Ends 20 December 2014)

Past, Present, Somewhere - Kettles Yard, Cambridge 2014

One Week To Go….

There is a week left of our mini restrospective at Kettles Yard in Cambridge, do go and enjoy if you can.

It's a rarer than hens teeth chance to see collected old work of ours with some of the newest stuff we;ve produced in Cambridge in the last few years.

The show is open every day except Monday till Sunday 23rd Nov 11.30am - 5pm & it's free to get in.
All our films screen in a mini cinema each day:

Jaywick Escapes (48 mins, Cert. 15): 12pm,
Bata-ville: We Are Not Afraid of the Future (93 mins): 1pm,
Living with the Tudors (83 mins): 3pm

Shooting, 2012

Wed. Nov 12th @ Kettles Yard : Beware Daughter With Camera

I hope some of you can make it to what will be a nerve-wracking but exciting chance for me to introduce my new doc The Closer We Get (co-produced - and much of it filmed by - Ms Nina Pope!) and to show you some of my favourite clips. I'll also be highlighting the relationship between the 'Past, Present, Somewhere' exhibition in the gallery and this new film, which has been 6 years in the making.

Wed. Nov 12th 7pm, special viewing of the exhibition 6-7pm £8 (£6)

Booking recommended as cinema seating limited.
Info here -

Credit: Cambridge Archaeological Unit

A tale of 38 teapots: an intimate portrait of C18th sociability

Sadly I can't be in Cambridge today, but I wish I could - this talk by one of the Prospectors Craig Cessford looks fantastic!

"At a seminar today (22 October 2014) archaeologist Craig Cessford will talk about the challenges of working on ‘clearance deposits’. He will use, as one of his examples, the recent excavation of a site in historic Cambridge that yielded a cache of teapots, and other items, that had lain undisturbed for more than 200 years. - See more here."

"While coffeehouses have attracted significant attention from historians, relatively little attention has been paid to the material culture associated with them – and very few have been investigated archaeologically."

Craig Cessford

Photo: Nina Pope

Green roof for Tomorrow, Today

One of the nice things about going to Cambridge so much for the Kettle's Yard show is also being able to visit the 'original' Tomorrow, Today model and see how it's changing over time. I've just added a gallery of pictures from right across the project here. You can see the whole process from the empty muddy field to the finished model and changing nature of the site as nature takes over.

I'll be back this weekend for a walk & talk around our Kettle's Yard show as part of the Castle Hill open day ...

1.30 Sat. Oct 18th - Tour of Past, Present, Somewhere with Nina Pope

Events, dear boy. Events.



Kettle's Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ, 01223 748100,

Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope Panel Discussion
Thursday 2nd October, 7.00pm £8(£6)

Come and hear us discuss our two new projects Tomorrow, Today and Prospection made through the NW Cambridge commission with Kettle's Yard Director, Andrew Nairne, contemporary archeologist Sefryn Penrose and Director of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit Chris Evans. Special viewing of the exhibition 6-7pm.

Digital Media and Computing History Event
Saturday 11th October 2-4.30pm With tea and cake break, £8(£6)
Talks and discussion with: Sarah Cook, curator, writer and co-founder of CRUMB, the online resource for curators of new media art; Andrew Chitty who devised the BBC’s first website and was former editor of The Net; and Jason Fitzpatrick a computer historian and curator at the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge.

The Closer We Get Special Event
Wednesday 12 November 7pm, special viewing of the exhibition 6-7pm £8 (£6)
A special preview of Somewhere’s latest feature documentary; a bittersweet, first-hand account of director Karen Guthrie’s family coming to terms with the aftermath of her mother’s stroke. Karen will be showing clips from the up-coming film and relating these to themes in the current show.
Find out more on The Closer We Get website:

Introduction to Cobbing
Thursday 13th November, 12.30pm (free)
By Kate Edwards, our cob-building tutor from Tomorrow, Today

For more information:
Programme of events:

Art Moves

Come and visit us this weekend in the Olympic Park for Art Moves with the Abbey Gardens honesty stall. Top quality Gherkins and much much more!

Past, Present, Somewhere

We'd love you to come to Cambridge and see this at Kettle's Yard in person of course, but for those who can't there are now some pictures here ...

Past, Present, Somewhere

Kettle’s Yard is delighted to present projects and films by artists Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope, who have worked under the name ‘Somewhere’ for almost twenty years. This is their first solo exhibition since they were awarded the Northern Art Prize in 2007.

Past, Present, Somewhere is a rare opportunity to see early video and web-based projects and watch the artists’ remarkable documentary films (screened daily). For the past year Somewhere have been part of the North West Cambridge Art Programme; working with Cambridge Archaeological Unit, the exhibition includes new work inspired by this collaboration.

Andrew Nairne, Director

“Let us take you to the Essex seaside in the 1940s, travel forward to a present-day Japanese farming village, walk around a local manor house in Tudor England. Come on a bus with us from a factory on the edge of the Thames to the Czech Republic and the start of a shoe empire. Make your way across Scotland to the Western Isles and, of course, come home with us. Finally, step into the future on your doorstep and try and see Cambridge in 2040.

You will find separate pieces and places here, but many themes that bind them together. The space between each project is elastic for us, like the time travelled in between and within each piece.

There are no expert opinions here, there are many anecdotes and much is made by amateurs. There is all of domestic, messy, mixed up life. Together we strive, alongside people we meet, to piece together the past and make a stab at the future. Most importantly we spend time now, in the moment, struggling with the stuff of ‘Somewhere’ and trying to record what this can look like.”

Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope, 2014

You can pick up the lovely free Somewhere map designed by Koby Barhad at the show, which includes a new essay by writer David Crowley: the full text is available here too.

Massive thanks to Kettle’s Yard staff and volunteers for all their help with the work, especially Marie-France and Pete. We would also like to thank Koby Barhad, David Crowley, Kirsten Lavers, Chris Evans, The Prospectors, and all those who helped with the cob build & install - a hard 2 weeks!

Busy, Busy, Busy!

There's a LOT happening at Abbey Gardens in the next few weeks and also some ways you can help us to raise the important funds we need to keep the garden running.

We will be taking part in the Art Moves exhibition on September 20th-21st; celebrating Urban Food Fortnight with a charity dinner on September 24th and of course there is PUMPKINFEST, our Annual Harvest Festival on September 27th, which is a free event in the garden from 1-4pm.

Art Moves
September 20th/21st, 10am-6pm Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Abbey Gardens’ Honesty Stall will be part of the Art Moves exhibition on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st September (10am -6pm) in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Mandeville Place. The exhibition will showcase the very best of mobile architecture and design as part of Open House London weekend. Vicki will be with the stall during the event but any volunteers would be most welcome! If possible email Vicki at admin 'at'

Urban Food Fortnight, Abbey Gardens fundraising dinner
September 24th, 7pm EastTwenty Cafe
To celebrate Urban Food Fortnight, EastTwenty ( the café of the arcelormittalorbit tower) are planning a special fundraising dinner for Abbey Gardens on Wednesday 24th September at 7pm. Working with Abbey Gardens they we will be serving visitors a special menu of fresh, seasonal produce – that has been grown and made within London and some at Abbey Gardens (as far as possible!)

Tickets are priced at £25 and include two courses and a botanical cocktail (with wonderful Abbey Garden herbs). The event will be at EastTwenty Hospitality Suite. A donation from the ticket price will be made to Abbey Gardens with an additional commission if Abbey Gardens sell the tickets!

There will also be a prize draw on the night, where you can win numerous great prizes!


September 27th, 1-4pm Abbey Gardens
This year’s Harvest Festival at Abbey Gardens is PUMPKINFEST – a free, fun-filled event celebrating all things pumpkin!

Firstly, we are hoping that many of you will take part in one of the two competitions:
1. Pumpkin-squash-gourd competition – bring your best looking or most interesting pumpkin, squash, gourd or marrow for display and it might win a prize! All produce will be returned after the event.
2. Creativity with vegetables – create something unique with your vegetables – entries can include carved pumpkins, decorated pumpkins, vegetable sculptures – anything!

Our competition prizes have been kindly donated by Foyles and Sawmills Cafe.

Other activities include:

*Enjoy delicious food from the chefs at Vegan Peasant
*Listen to music from the Regent Community Band
*Take part in children’s activities, including harvest crafts, facepainting and a pumpkin story tent
*Have your photo taken as a PUMPKINHEAD
*Enter this year’s vegetable quiz in order to win an Abbey Gardens prize
*Learn the history of pumpkin carving

And of course there will be our honesty stall and the popular tea and cake stall. In particular, this year we have been working really hard on some original Abbey Gardens produce – there will be homemade tea, chutneys and over 100 jars of Abbey Gardens original gherkins – all available for donations to the garden!

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