Karen Guthrie, Grizedale Arts Head Gardener Talks: If It Grows Here, It’ll Grow Anywhere
Date: 01 February 2023
Time: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
£5.00 per personBook Here
Following on from Adam Sutherland’s four part series, we are working on providing online access to this talk. Please contact us to register your interest.
Advance booking is essential for all through the ‘Book Here’ button above.
If you do not have the means to pay for a ticket, we have an access budget that enables us to provide free places for people with low incomes, who are unemployed or have other accessibility needs. Please contact us to register.
The talk starts at 6.30pm sharp. The Stable Bar will be open for drinks from 5.30pm.
The Farmer’s Arms, Lowick Green – LA12 8DT
Join Karen Guthrie for this beautifully-illustrated walk through her 20 years of garden making at Lawson Park, Grizedale Arts’ RIBA-award winning base overlooking Coniston Water, where she is Warden & Head Gardener.
Over its 700 year lifespan Lawson Park has been at times a farm, a holiday home, an outward bound centre, a film set and even a fictional animal research laboratory in Richard Adams’ book ‘The Plague Dogs’. Since its 2009 refurbishment, Grizedale Arts has welcomed hundreds of resident artists, volunteers and visitors to take part in and be inspired by this exceptional environment. Described as ‘a triumph’ by former Radio 4 Gardener’s Question Time host Eric Robson, Lawson Park’s gardens include wildflower meadows, a bog garden, two orchards and an innovative food growing area known as The Paddies, supplying fresh produce for residents and for The Farmer’s Arms kitchen. Recently hosting BBC Gardener’s World and internationally acclaimed plantsman Piet Oudolf at Lawson Park, Karen also leads volunteer groups, open days and The Farmer’s Arms Garden School.
Karen is a lifelong yet self-taught gardener, and in this talk she’ll reveal how the open fell around the ancient Lawson Park farmhouse has been transformed, what she has learned along the way, and what the future may hold for this special place.
About the speaker:
Karen Guthrie grew up in Largs, a small Ayrshire town, gardening at the family home from a young age and spending holidays in the mountains of the Lake District and Scotland. She was a reluctant hiker, but an enthusiastic explorer of ravines, copses and meadows. Study at the Royal College of Art took her to London in the 1990’s, accompanied by a rhubarb plant dug up from home (it struggled in South London). Karen’s relocation to the near-derelict Lawson Park in 2002 coincided with six weeks of continuous rain, but luckily her partner had built her a polytunnel. She has contributed to many Grizedale Arts projects over the years, both behind the scenes and in front. Their ’Seven Samurai’ project for the Echigo-Tsumari Triennial brought her to Japan for the first time, and she has been inspired by its gardens and farms ever since, implementing many Japanese techniques learned on land and in the kitchen at Lawson Park.
Karen has built a wide-ranging career in art, design, film and education, with projects and exhibitions for Tate Modern, the BBC and Kettles Yard and posts at the Slade School of Fine Art and Cambridge University amongst others. Her last film, ‘The Closer We Get’, has screened in sixteen countries after premiering at Edinburgh International Film Festival, winning many awards and a BBC broadcast. In 2008 she was awarded the first Northern Art Prize with longterm collaborator Nina Pope. A pivotal moment came when their collective Somewhere was selected for a commission to rethink Abbey Gardens, a neglected plot on the edge of the 2012 London Olympics site, creating a public garden which thrives to this day. Since then, garden making has been central to Karen’s professional practice and to her personal wellbeing.
When not working, Karen enjoys learning the Japanese language, and is a home cookery and fermentation enthusiast.