Pioneer climber Gwen Moffat on the art of Heaton Cooper

A tribute to the artist William Heaton Cooper has come from one of Britain’s pioneer female mountaineers.

Gwen Moffat, now 90, was a ground-breaking rock-climber, adventurer and first female mountain guide in the post-war years. As a new exhibition devoted to the mountain art of Heaton Cooper opens next month, Ms Moffat hailed his influence as a climber and guidebook illustrator.

“In the forties we lived to climb and everything was new, untried, unexplored,” she said.

“Guide books were essential and two compilers stood out from the rest: Edwards in Snowdonia for his idiosyncrasy, Heaton Cooper for the accuracy of his drawings in the Lakeland guides. He was a man who knew his mountains; in his illustrations the routes are lines running up pencil-shaded rock where every crack and overhang, every buttress is correct and matched neatly to the text.

“I still have those guides: over 60 years old, waterworn, mud-stained, dog-eared and annotated and still consulted to verify a date of ascent, noting how I found a route, turning to the plan to see where the next pitch went had I not retreated from the crux.”

The exhibition, Lines of Ascent, will be opened at the Heaton Cooper studio in Grasmere on November 19 by veteran climber Al Phizacklea. The event will launch the Kendal Mountain Film Festival which follows all weekend.

Lines of Ascent will feature the work William Heaton Cooper produced for the Fell and Rock Climbing Club guides for 50 years from 1930s onwards. The books were bibles for the climbing community, showing new routes as they developed, drawn on site and working closely with the climbers at the crag face.

Phizacklea succeeded Heaton Cooper as the illustrator of the FRCC guidebooks.

Alongside the drawings, guides and journals will be climbing photographs from the 1930s and 1940s from Heaton Cooper’s private album, as well as some of his paintings that reference the mid-twentieth century climbing scene, including some not seen before.

There is also an Alpine sketch-book full of vivid drawings and  sketches of the Grandes Jorasses from above the original Couvercle Hut, and crowded interiors of the old hut in the 1950s.

The Alpine theme at the exhibition will be extended with Julian Cooper’s huge oil painting  Eiger Face, shown alongside images of the famous 1938 first ascent and subsequent routes up the North Face of the Eiger.

The exhibition will be curated by Julian Cooper, William’s son, and Becky Heaton Cooper, William’s grand-daughter and Julian’s niece.

Becky Heaton Cooper is a director and general manager of the business established by the landscape painter Alfred Heaton Cooper in 1905. His son William built the present gallery in Grasmere in 1938. For generations their paintings and books have influenced the way the landscape of the Lake District has been viewed.

Gwen Moffat , who wrote a best-selling account of her adventures, Space Below My Feet, went on to write detective fiction, in particular the Miss Pink series featuring Melinda Pink, a middle aged magistrate and climber. She recalled:  “In the 1950s we discovered his paintings and by then people had just enough cash to buy prints. For many climbers the first picture in their first home was a Heaton Cooper. If guides are now little more than reference books, the mountains are part of current living. They are on the other side of the valley, at the end of the lake and through the trees, and if all else fails they are in living rooms, on walls of halls and bedrooms in innumerable homes of mountain lovers.”

She said: “Heaton Cooper is venerated, and not because he was a climber, a pioneer, a draughtsman and geologist, a man who understood the soul of rock, he was all of these and more: something between a realist and an impressionist. Light and texture are of his essence; water flows and cascades in his becks, whispers in his summer falls – you watch for the glimpse of a dipper. His rock is warm and gritty under the hands: feeling achieved by brush strokes. A sunbeam finds a hole in storm cloud to slip past the black bulk of a mountain and strike water on a shadowed tarn with a colour that is no colour but pure light.

“To term the best of his paintings sublime may be dismissed as subjective but no one can challenge nor deny me when I maintain that just one cherished Heaton Cooper can haunt the mind.”

 

 

  • The Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere was opened by William Heaton Cooper in 1938.    It is a hugely popular tourist attraction, with more than 90,000 visitors last year. It features work by the Heaton Cooper family and guest artists, with the Lakeland landscape at the heart of the gallery’s displays.

 

  • The Heaton Cooper family tree is a pictorial essay on the development of art in the Lake District and beyond. There are 10 artists represented, including the sculptor Ophelia Gordon Bell, (herself the daughter of the animal painter Winifred Gordon Bell) and Julian Cooper, the internationally renowned painter whose recent work has been concerned with finding a relevant contemporary language for painting mountains and rock all over the world. The most well known works are by Alfred and William, each distinctively capturing the magnificence and beauty of rock and fell, stream and lake.

 

  • Julian Cooper, the son of William Heaton Cooper and the sculptor Ophelia Gordon Bell, is an internationally known painter, represented by Art Space Gallery, London. He is a member of the Alpine Club, and has climbed throughout Britain and the Alps.

 

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Art and jewellery at Windermere’s classy Christmas shopping venue

Windermere’s art, jewellery and gifts Christmas shopping experience starts this weekend at the Cedar Manor hotel.

A range of exclusive items all made by local designers will be on sale at the hotel throughout November.

The latest local artist to reach their shelves is Kendal-based Thuline de Cock whose striking horse, dog and cow images are on a new range of china mugs.

And a Christmas fair with a difference will be staged at the end of the month, with a most unusual Father Christmas grotto. Santa will be welcoming visitors and handing out presents in a seasonally decorated yurt in the hotel grounds.

The shopping experience is the idea of owners Caroline and Jonathan Kaye who have a small selection of jewellery, crafts and other locally produced items for sale in their welcome lounge all year round.

“Christmas shopping has become an ordeal,” said Jonathan. “In towns and cities the shops are bombarding customers with seasonal items earlier and earlier. There’s no sense of festivity any more, and going to big shopping outlets nearer Christmas can be a nightmare.

“We have some wonderful local designers who make jewellery, fine art, skin-care products, exclusive jams and chutneys, chocolates and wooden toys. Their work will be available here, without any of the crowds or the traffic jams of most shopping trips.”

The Christmas Fair, on Saturday November 29, will raise money for the charity Lupus UK which Caroline Kaye has been supporting this year. She took part in the Great North Run and has organised other events, and has raised more than £3000 so far. Next year she is running the London Marathon for the charity.

The fair, from 11.30am till 4pm, will feature afternoon teas and home-made mince pies as well as the Christmas grotto. It’s hope that a mystery celebrity guest will perform the official opening ceremony..

Throughout November, the hotel’s “shop” will be open till late each evening.  Said Jonathan:  “We know there are people who panic because it’s their wife or girlfriend’s birthday the next day and they’ve forgotten!  They are realising now that they can come here even at 9 at night and find a lovely present.

“It is also a great way for us to showcase the fantastic design talent that we have in this area.”

Lake District film needs YOUR help to get started

A Cumbrian producer is looking for backers to help make a short film which will be shot in the Lake District.

Michael Groom and his team are just £1,700 short of the funds needed to make The Merciless Beauty,   a modern-day adaptation of the John Keats poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci.  It’s a tale of love, infatuation and melancholic desire, in which an errant knight becomes obsessed with a mysterious beauty who ultimately lures him to his doom.

“Our version is a subtle re-telling, focusing on a 21st century return of the beauty and the farmhand she meets and ensnares,” said Michael, who was brought up in Cumbria and whose family live in Wigton.

The film will be shot in several locations around the Lake District, including Rydal cave, Crummock Water, and privately owned land. Michael hopes to start filming in December “to get the best wintry light”.

Michael, who has worked on mainstream films such as Prometheus, Clash of the Titans, and A Might Heart, has a budget of £5000 for this project. “We have already raised a significant amount, but we still need a further £1700 before we can get started,” he explained.

Michael says his approach to short film is to entertain and “transport the viewer to a different place and to hark back to the escapism of myth and wonderment”.

“That’s why this tale appeals so much. It takes the classic archetype of the beautiful female and spins a yarn that is representative of the very human-oriented mixed emotions of desire and love, ecstasy and melancholy, that two mutually attracted souls feel towards each other.”

He has launched an online appeal where backers can pledge any amount from £1 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1005171588/the-merciless-beauty

“We know some great locations and we are keen to share the result with film festivals around the world.”

Veteran climber to open Lakes mountain art exhibition

Veteran climber Al Phizacklea is to open a major mountaineering art exhibition in Grasmere next month.

The Lakeland cragsman will officially open Lines of Ascent at the Heaton Cooper Studio on Wednesday November 19. The event will launch the Kendal Mountain Film Festival which follows all weekend.

Lines of Ascent will feature the work William Heaton Cooper produced for the Fell and Rock Climbing Club guides for 50 years from 1930s onwards. The books were bibles for the climbing community, showing new routes as they developed, drawn on site and working closely with the climbers at the crag face.

Phizacklea succeeded Heaton Cooper as the illustrator of the FRCC guidebooks.

Alongside the drawings, guides and journals will be climbing photographs from the 1930s and 1940s from Heaton Cooper’s private album, as well as some of his paintings that reference the mid-twentieth century climbing scene, including some not seen before.

There is also an Alpine sketch-book full of vivid drawings and  sketches of the Grandes Jorasses from above the original Couvercle Hut, and crowded interiors of the old hut in the 1950s.

The Alpine theme at the exhibition will be extended with Julian Cooper’s huge oil painting  Eiger Face, shown alongside images of the famous 1938 first ascent and subsequent routes up the North Face of the Eiger.

The exhibition will be curated by Julian Cooper, William’s son, and Becky Heaton Cooper, William’s grand-daughter and Julian’s niece.

Becky Heaton Cooper is a director and general manager of the business established by the landscape painter Alfred Heaton Cooper in 1905. His son William built the present gallery in Grasmere in 1938. For generations their paintings and books have influenced the way the landscape of the Lake District has been viewed.

Julian Cooper said: “I’m very pleased and honoured that Al Phizacklea has agreed to open this exhibition. As the Fell and Rock illustrator who succeeded Heaton Cooper, and a guidebook writer himself, he knows the territory as well as anyone

Phizacklea, who set up many new routes in the Lakes, once wrote: “Sometimes, at the end of a hot day, you get a moment of light from the sun that seems to make the whole view glow, and you realise that it’s those moments that the artist Heaton Cooper always painted, a beautiful ethereal moment in time.”

 

  • The Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere was opened by William Heaton Cooper in 1938.    It is a hugely popular tourist attraction, with more than 90,000 visitors last year. It features work by the Heaton Cooper family and guest artists, with the Lakeland landscape at the heart of the gallery’s displays.

 

  • The Heaton Cooper family tree is a pictorial essay on the development of art in the Lake District and beyond. There are 10 artists represented, including the sculptor Ophelia Gordon Bell, (herself the daughter of the animal painter Winifred Gordon Bell) and Julian Cooper, the internationally renowned painter whose recent work has been concerned with finding a relevant contemporary language for painting mountains and rock all over the world. The most well known works are by Alfred and William, each distinctively capturing the magnificence and beauty of rock and fell, stream and lake.

 

  • Julian Cooper, the son of William Heaton Cooper and the sculptor Ophelia Gordon Bell, is an internationally known painter, represented by Art Space Gallery, London. He is a member of the Alpine Club, and has climbed throughout Britain and the Alps.

 

 

http://www.heatoncooper.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Cedar Manor runners-up in nationwide style contest

Windermere’s Cedar Manor narrowly missed first place in a nationwide search for the most stylish hotel.

The boutique hotel and restaurant, recently named Best Small Hotel in Cumbria, was runner-up in the finals of the Hilden Style Awards, in the independent hotel category.

The judges told owners Jonathan and Caroline Kaye: “We loved the sumptuous feel of your property. The bespoke chandelier is a real focal point as well as the uber stylish bathroom with the lights around the bath.”

The judging panel was made up of experts from Trivago, the world’s largest hotel search and information website , Boutique Hotelier, the news, trends and analysis company for the UK boutique hotelier industry, global textiles specialists Vision, and DeskCentre, the interior designers and furniture specialists. The winner was the Northcote Hotel in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley.

Caroline Kaye said that the accolade was a tribute to the local team who have worked to create the distinctive atmosphere of the Cedar Manor – designer Alison Tordoff from Fidget, Andrew Smith of Lakeland Fells Furniture, glass artist Jo Vincent who made the chandelier singled out by the judges, Windermere based Nutz About Decorating, and Windermere Upholstery.

“We were really thrilled to reach the finals of this competition. We know that our guests appreciate the beautiful surroundings that we have created for them, but it’s lovely to have recognition from the experts,” she said.chandelierThe chandelier: loved by the judges

 

Windermere Christmas shopping the relaxing way

Christmas shopping is going to be a more relaxed affair this year in Windermere.

A range of exclusive gifts all made by local designers will be on sale at the Cedar Manor Hotel throughout November.

And  a Christmas fair with a difference will be staged at the end of the month, to highlight the work of local art and design talent , along with a promise of the best-ever mince pies.

The shopping experience is the idea of owners Caroline and Jonathan Kaye who have a small selection of jewellery, crafts and other locally produced items for sale in their welcome lounge all year round.

“Christmas shopping has become an ordeal,” said Jonathan. “In towns and cities the shops are bombarding customers with seasonal items earlier and earlier. There’s no sense of festivity any more, and going to big shopping outlets nearer Christmas can be a nightmare.

“We have some wonderful local designers who make jewellery, fine art, skin-care products, exclusive jams and chutneys, chocolates and wooden toys. Their work will be available here, without any of the crowds or the traffic jams of most shopping trips.”

The Christmas Fair, on Saturday November 29, will raise money for the charity Lupus UK which Caroline Kaye has been supporting this year. She took part in the Great North Run and has organised other events, and has raised more than £3000 so far. Next year she is running the London Marathon for the charity.

The fair, from 11.30am till 4pm,  will feature afternoon teas and mince pies made by a star local baker, and there will be a Father Christmas grotto for children.

Throughout November, the hotel’s “shop” will be open till late each evening.  Said Jonathan:  “We know there are people who panic because it’s their wife or girlfriend’s birthday the next day and they’ve forgotten!  They are realising now that they can come here even at 9 at night and find a lovely present.

“It is also a great way for us to showcase the fantastic design talent that we have in this area.”