Adventure through the eyes of artists

ADVENTURES is a multidisciplinary art exhibition which will open at the Gallery at Rheged on 24 May 2014. The Exhibition has been developed by the Rheged Team and will run until Sunday 13 July. It looks at adventure in its many forms through painting, photography, installation and making.

The exhibition celebrates all adventures, from grand expeditions to smaller more individual challenges. It will feature never-before-seen photographs from the Chris Bonington Picture Library, never exhibtied sketches for mountain painter Julian Cooper’s major work Scafell Crag, new work by artist Derek Eland and an unusual ‘portrait in maps’ of legendary fell-runner Jos Naylor.

ADVENTURES dissects the numerous meanings that the word ‘adventure’ has to different people, and lets visitors draw their own conclusions about what really makes an adventure. Never-before-seen photos by world-renowned mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington show dramatic scenes of exotic and unexplored jungles and inhospitable mountain ranges. In contrast a collaborative piece by well-known adventurer Alastair Humphreys and New Writing Cumbria shows how anyone can have a modest, simple adventure within a mile of their doorstep. Meanwhile Splinterbike, a project that started with a bet by Norfolk joiner Michael Thompson and resulted in him constructing the world’s first 100% wooden bike, shows that an adventure can be as simple as pursuing a goal that at first seems impossible.

Rheged Arts Officer John Stokes says: ADVENTURES is an exhibition that asks what it means to be adventurous, and challenges our definitions of what an adventure is. It’s about words, images and feelings which is why we have such a broad range of work from the written word through to painting and photography and even craft. Anyone can have a positive experience here, not just adventure or arts fans, it’s a chance to unlock something adventurous in yourself.’

Alastair Humphreys says Adventure is only a state of mind. Adventure is stretching yourself; mentally, physically or culturally. It is about doing what you do not normally do, pushing yourself hard and doing it to the best of your ability.’ Alastair devised the concept of a ‘Micro Adventure’ – something anyone can attempt without great expense. It is presented here as an homage to the 1962 artwork by Yoko Ono, Map Piece.

In attempting to capture the spirit of adventure the exhibition looks at taking on new and exciting challenges.  Artist Elizabeth Shorrock has created a series of ‘portraits in maps’ of the famous fell runner Jos Naylor. ‘It was a very different and unusual process for me to create a series of ‘portraits but not quite portraits’ of Jos Naylor’ said Elizabeth ‘I had to take a step out of my comfort zone, so for me this new body of work has been an adventure in itself’.


The exhibition includes the following artists and contributors: Julian Cooper, Derek Eland, Elizabeth Shorrock, Roy Fleming, Jonathan Trotman, Andreas Palmén, Oli Robson, Richard Fisher, Mark Gibbs, New Writing Cumbria, Chris Bonington Picture Library, Alastair Humphreys, John Innerdale MBE, Fyne Boat Kits, and Michael Thompson (Splinterbike).