A NEW gallery showcasing the life and work of a critically-acclaimed Brazilian sculptor with Cumbrian connections has opened in Kendal.

The Josefina Gallery is next to the Waterside Cafe in Kent View. It follows a search for a space by the Josefina de Vasconcellos Arts and Care Trust, a charity dedicated to her life and work Works by Ms Vasconcellos, who lived in Little Langdale and Ambleside, are on display in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, and Liverpool Cathedral.

Ms Vasconcellos , originally from Brazil, died in 2005 at the age of 100, but befriended fellow Brazilian, Santa Tattersall from Arkholme, near Carnforth, who worked as a carer when she was at Holehird nursing and care home in Windermere.

Ms Tattersall chairs the trust which has taken over the building to show Josefina’s collection and sell reproductions.

“It is our aim to make sure more people, especially here in her beloved Lake District, get to know about her, her work, ideas and ideals,” said Ms Tattersall.

“We seek to give opportunities to developing artists and to inspire those not usually regarding ‘artistic stuff’ as their thing to have a go.

“This especially applies to those who, due to ageing, social isolation, unemployment or any other difficulty in life, see little hope and sense of achievement.”

The trust is working with locally-based artists including sculptor Shawn Williamson, who is in residence at the gallery, and was one of Josefina’s star pupils. He created a giant statue of a Herdwick ram on the A66 near Cockermouth.

Another artist is painter and occupational therapist Anna Sequeira, who is a member of the Green Door Society in Kendal – a collective of contemporary independent artists formed in 1995. She is helping people access the arts as a form of therapy.

The trust regularly raises money for other causes. One of its campaigns next year is The Walk To The World Cup featuring Windermere man David Bewick with Pete Johnston and Adam Burns.

The trio are walking 1966 kilometres (1,221 miles) from Argentina via Uruguay to raise money for a Brazilian village which has suffered from drought.

The event has been sponsored by Mike Marczynski, MD of Carnforth company Checkpoint, and also hopes to raise awareness of Josefina’s work and the charity.

Entry to the gallery is free and donations are welcome.