Arts Council Projects

Kirkgate Arts and Heritage have successfully delivered a range of community-based projects supported by funding from Arts Council England.

Maryport’s Seafaring Heritage

In 2021 children from Netherton School in Maryport worked with local artist, Celia Burbush, to learn about their town’s seafaring heritage. The children looked at all the trades that went into ship-building in Maryport including joiners, brass and iron foundries, and sail makers; and then completed a range of art activities, including designing and making their ownChildren being creative at a Kirkgate Arts Project boats, and using metallic paints and found materials to evoke the various materials used in a boat.

The activity was part of a wider project run by Kirkgate Arts and Heritage which involved people of all ages in Maryport and Cockermouth to be inspired by their local heritage and culture while developing their own creative skills. The adult workshops were designed to give the wider community an opportunity to get involved in trying art techniques, learning new skills and self-expression; while also supporting the wellbeing of individuals and the resilience of the local community.

Creative Workshops for Young Children

Creative Workshops for Young Children Kirkgate Arts Cockermouth

In August 2022 Kirkgate Arts and Heritage teamed up with Little Twiglets Forest School and Riversmeet to  deliver two creative workshops for children under 5 years. The workshops focused on arts and crafts and creative writing. The atmosphere was fun, encouraging free play on the swings, hammocks, and a mud kitchen; and were much enjoyed by all.

The Lament of Dorothy Wordsworth

PenPal Productions visited in July 2019 to present a one-woman play called ‘The Lament of Dorothy The lament of Dorothy Wordsworth Wordsworth’ at the Kirkgate Centre and at the Settlement, Maryport. It was written by Jane Sunderland, with Dorothy played by Gillian Massey, a Glasgow-based actor.

Jane wrote this play with an awareness both that women artists are often undervalued, and that the support they provide to their husbands and male relations is rarely fully appreciated. In this case, Dorothy carried out a huge amount of both domestic and, far more importantly, creative work for her more famous brother William. She also cultivated the Dove Cottage Garden with him, walked with him over the hills and assiduously wrote her journal, the sensitive and detailed observations in which William frequently drew on for his poetry. In the play Jane imagines the discussions, and perhaps arguments, Dorothy and William might have had about different phrasings – and at Dorothy’s response when she learns that their idyllic life together is about to change.

The performance was followed by a creative writing workshop on both days, encouraging participants to explore their own creativity through the art of poetry.

Summer Arts Workshops

Summer Art Projects Kirkgate - Girl PaintingIn July 2022 the Kirkgate Centre hosted several art workshops and family days, which were inspired by the Outdoor summer projects Kirkgate Arts Cockermouth Heritage Group and a research project undertaken with children from Highfield Community Centre. Local artist, Celia Burbush, encouraged participants to explore a range of paint media, including watercolours, acrylics, and oils, as well as paper-making, printing and dyeing with natural dyes.

Creative Mono-printing

Mono Printing with Kat Prior at Kirkgate Arts Cockermouth In 2022 Edinburgh based artist Kat Prior delivered a wildflower mono-printing workshop; showing participants how to transform wildflowers and nature into beautiful prints. Inspired by Dorothy Wordsworth’s love of nature, the group created monoprints using real leaves and flowers, giving them a chance discover mono-printing and find out what a rewarding but easy process it was.