Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends
November 11, 2023 - February 18, 2024
Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends celebrates artist and poet Li Yuan-chia, examining how his LYC Museum and Art Gallery has impacted upon British art. The exhibition is on display at Kettle’s Yard Cambridge from 11 November, 2023 to 18 February, 2024.
LYC Museum and Art Gallery
For just over a decade (1972-83) LYC provided a space for more than 320 artists including locals to experiment and participate in Cumbria. These included Elsa Stansfield, Lygia Clark, Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash and Delia Derbyshire. The founding ethos of LYC was Space/ Time / Life.
Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends : Review
Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends fills three exhibition halls across two floors at Kettle’s Yard. In the first space we see Li Yuan-chia’s interest in the cosmic point. This is viewed as a circle which connects small things to larger ones. The work involves lots of geometric shapes as though the artists are questioning mankind’s place in the solar system. It is very reflective.
The second space focuses on the work generated by Li Yuan-chia and others at the LYC. I find a piece by David Nash, which was actually the Window for the LYC ( c. 1980) particularly interesting. It is now mounted and resting beside the window for Kettle’s Yard.
Other Works on Display
Part of the concept behind the exhibition is to create a dialogue between Li’s art practice and other artists. It draws parallels between LYC and Kettle’s Yard artistic principles, both believing in the inseparability of art from life as well as friendship.
As such new works by Charwei Tsai, Anna Brownsted, Aaron Tan and Grace Ndiritu have been specially commissioned for the exhibition.
I found Anna Brownsted’s Drawing Machine #6 particularly interesting. Using two bricks as counter levers, guests are invited to create their own work of art which takes on the form of a spiral that seems to have a life of its own. The machine was created from repurposed materials including two bricks from the restoration of Kettle’s Yard between 2015-8.
The artist invites people to have a go at the machine, which was great fun. How it works, well “that’s science” explains Brownsted.
When Is the Exhibition?
It is at Kettle’s Yard from 11 November 2023 until 18 February 2024. For more information visit: www.kettlesyard.co.uk
Where Is It?
The exhibition will be held in Kettle’s Yard which is in the University of Cambridge, Cambridge. Kettle’s Yard was opened in 1957 by Jim Ede and wife Helen. The year round programme of exhibitions of contemporary art is how he intended it. The museum was gifted to Cambridge University in 1966.
Entrance to the exhibition is free but you have to buy a ticket to Kettle’s Yard House (£10.50, free for under25s, etc.).
Getting to Cambridge from London
Trains run from London Liverpool Street to Cambridge taking approximately one hour.
Main image: Shelagh Wakely, Towards the Inside of a Container. Courtesy of Richard Saltoun Gallery London, Rome. © The Estate of Shelagh Wakely.