Cumbria Crack

Shedding new light on contemporary craft

Statira Jazayeri creates remarkable sculptural textile pieces. She will be taking part in events at The Old Courthouse, Shap during the Luminosity exhibition and Jason Taylor lights found objects from within to create his pieces. This is Steam Light (photo credit: Len Grant)

[T]his year’s Highlights Contemporary Craft Tour is entitled Luminosity and it looks at light – reflections, images and installations – through contemporary craftwork. Pieces by seven very different artists and craftspeople will be touring the north of England, starting in September at The Old Courthouse in Shap.

“Luminosity is all about celebrating light,” says Highlights Craft Tour Officer, Karen Babayan, “and the touring exhibition will include glass, sculptural textiles, film, electronics and neon installations. Five of the participating artists and designer makers are based in the north of England themselves and they’re joined by Statira Jazayeri, a Swedish artist with Iranian roots, and Evagelia Hagikala who is originally from Greece.”

“As in previous years, we’re taking opportunities to tie into other arts events with Shap taking part in C-Art and the Stanhope exhibition coinciding with the renowned Lumiére Festival in Durham. We’ve received practical support and funding from several trusts and organisations including the Garfield Weston Foundation, Westmorland Arts Trust through Cumbria Community Foundation, the Second Chance Charity as well as the University of Leeds. We couldn’t run the Craft Tour without their support, especially as local authority funding is now rarely available for the arts, and a huge thank you goes to everyone involved.”

Luminosity opens at The Old Courthouse on Friday 15 September to coincide with the C-Art festival across Cumbria. There will be an artist’s talk and demonstration by Statira Jazayeri on that first Friday followed by a Masterclass in Sculptural Textiles on Saturday 16 September. On Sunday 17 September there will be a family drop-in workshop and a Makers Market. The exhibition is also open every day in the following week until Saturday 23 September.

Janet Wood, Highlights promoter at Shap and Trustee of The Old Courthouse, Shap says: “We were amazed last year to see how well the Craft Tour pieces worked as an exhibition in our building. That spurred us on with plans to refurbish the redundant central storage area in the building and the result is a complete transformation. We now have a welcoming reception area for visitors with bright, airy gallery space and we await Luminosity with eager anticipation.”

Refurbishments and developments at The Old Courthouse at Shap have been supported with funding Awards for All – Big Lottery Fund, Cumbria Community Foundation, Cumbria County Council, Eden District Council Community Fund, Frieda Scott Charitable Trust, Holehird Trust, Shap Community Enterprise (Second Chance) and Ullswater Grassroots Grants Fund.

After Shap, Luminosity will be on tour to The Witham at Barnard Castle 14 October – 4 November, St Mary’s Church at Kirkby Lonsdale 6-12 November and then St Thomas’ Church Hall in Stanhope from 17-19 November (coinciding with the Durham Lumiére Festival).

Full details of the tour, talks, demonstrations and other events are all online at as well as information on how to book places on the Masterclasses at Shap and Barnard Castle.

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