AN EXCITING new addition to the region's visual arts world has opened its doors.

Kendal's vibrant art scene has gained a fresh contemporary space created by Cross Lane Projects in a former Kendal Mint Cake factory.

Located on Cross Lane, just behind Kirkland, the gallery adds extra gravitas to Kendal's existing creative offer that includes nationally important established centres as Abbot Hall Art Gallery, which has a major redevelopment in the pipeline, and the boundary pushing Brewery.

Cross Lane Projects was put together by Cumbria-born artist Rebecca Scott and her sculptor husband Mark Woods, with its inaugural exhibition featuring prints by Dame Paula Rego and new works by Rebecca.

The creative pair aims to bring new contemporary art and debate to Cumbria with an exciting curated programme featuring the work of local, international and British artists. The space will present a regularly changing programme of two exhibitions of contemporary art each year, accompanied by public talks and discussion events.

The gallery is great news for art lovers with Vanya Balogh, co-curating the first show, Female Trouble, alongside Rebecca.

Vanya said the exhibition "draws us gently into the feminine narratives of dispute and subversion, historically present and visible in the works of both artists. Paula Rego is represented with a series of incredible etchings crafted and produced in collaboration with Paupers Press while Scott is daring us with a set of oil paintings recently produced in the introspective quietness of her studio in Cumbria. Both artists bravely tread on the ambivalent ground of fear, instinct, eroticism and seduction whilst exposing a hidden world of secret lies and veiled truths."

Female Trouble sees the dynamic pairing of Portuguese-born Paula Rego and Rebecca, a highly impressive painter well known for her issue-based figurative paintings.

Paula's work is known for revealing complex stories about the sinister side of sexuality, and her feminism underlies everything she does. A major British artist, her work is prominently featured in the exhibition All Too Human, currently running at Tate Britain.

Female Trouble features a selection of Paula's lithographs and etchings from the collection of Paupers Press.

Rebecca said that when the opportunity arose to exhibit her work alongside the prints of Paula Rego, she didn't hesitate: "I was intrigued to see how the dialogue between us, two female artists from different generations, would develop. Rego often portrays women in secretive or clandestine groups, or alone confronting their private agonies. I'm interested to contrast these with my recent paintings that re-examine public images of women. Taking source images from glossy magazines and overwriting or 'defacing' these, my paintings aim to expose the hypocrisies of our so-called sexual freedom."

The exhibition is open Thursday to Sunday, noon-6pm and runs until August 24.

Following on in October, Cross Lane Projects' second exhibition features new work by sculptor Frances Richardson, winner of the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award for 2017/18.