Thursday, 14 November 2013

Kettle's Yard, Cambridge Part I

Back from a few days away at the bf's.  Forgetting to take my camera with me I have no images of our rather damp day in London: no images of 'Simpson's Tavern' in the City of London where we had lunch, or of the uber cool Lamb's Conduit Street (obligatory visit to Ben Pentreath's shop just round the corner in Rugby St.), or 'Paxton and Whitfield' in Jermyn St..  Quite a crowded few hours!  However I did take my camera along with me the next day in Cambridge.

I first went to Kettle's yard as a teenager on a school trip to Cambridge, and like the city it is a place to which I return over and over again.  It has this power to constantly fascinate.  I won't bore you with the history of the place; you easily find it online.  Sufficient enough for now to say it is the creation of a single agent: Jim Ede. Though I suppose his wife, Helen, must have had some input - surely?  Between 1958 and 1973 Jim Ede created and maintained this enchanting and curious place - a 'palace of art' in effect filled with early twentieth century English Modernism, but also part stately home, rustic farmhouse and, almost Cistercian, monastery.  The Edes had no television or radio and little electric light - they rose and retired to bed with the sun.  It is these contradictory aspects - these ambiguous attitudes to both Modernism and Modernity - that I wish to explore on my next post.

Kettle's Yard from the east, along the path leading up past the later gallery (on left) from Castle St.  St Peter's churchyard is on the right.  The entrance to the house itself is further up the steps and under the dark weather boarding.

Another view of the east side of Kettle's Yard from St Peter's churchyard.

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