Gallery focuses on Lakeland's top family of artists

Julian and Becky Cooper prepare for the exhibition

Julian and Becky Cooper prepare for the exhibition

First published in What's on The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

LAKELAND scenes from a famous family of artists are set to show how the view of fells and artistic techniques have changed throughout the ages.

Work from four generations of the Heaton Cooper family will document their creative work since the Victorian era.

Heaton Cooper: A Family of Artists 1863 – 2012, at the Gallery at Rheged, near Penrith, will offer visitors the chance to follow the Coniston family’s continuing creative streak.

It will bring together work by Alfred Heaton Cooper and his relatives William Heaton Cooper, Winifred Gordon Bell, Lawrence Bell, Otalia Johnson, Linda Ryle, Hilary Yafai and Rebecca Heaton Cooper.

Paintings, drawings and sculptures, including unseen artefacts, will go on public view from September 11.

Curators say the expose will reveal a new story of the history of the family, told through sketchbooks belonging to Alfred and William Heaton Cooper, photographs, letters, lecture notes and audio-visual material.

Visitors will be able to trace the social and landscape history of the Lake District from the 1880s to the present day through paintings of its people, animals, farming and buildings.

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The Heaton Cooper’s art also documents the early development of Lakeland rock-climbing and Himalayan mountaineering.

There will be a number of dramatic mountain paintings and sculpture by Ophelia Gordon Bell, including a vast stone relief commissioned by the Atomic Energy Authority in the 1950s.

Rheged Arts Officer John Stokes said: “This exhibition is highly fascinating both for long-running admirers of the family, and for those new to their work.

“However, it is the examples of artwork and artefacts that have never been exhibited before that make this a truly unique event.”

Julian Cooper said: “I'm surprised how many echoes and influences there are in the lives and work of the different family members across the generations.”

The exhibition will be open daily at Rheged until Sunday, November 4.

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