Penrith life drawing - Register of Artists' Models
RAM The Register of Artists Models

Life in Eden

This is the name of a dynamic Bare Facts affiliated life drawing workshop in the beautiful setting of the District of Eden, in the Lake District, described here by the founder, DAVID BRIGGS.

Many people have long benefited from the excellent tuition for life drawing and painting available at Ullswater Community College and Cumbria College of Art.  What, however, is one to do with these skills? Few can afford a good life model of their own. Group activity was to be the answer, and the Life in Eden project was conceived - regular workshops open to all.

John and Elaine Parkinson offered the workshop at Upfront for the initial series in the Autumn of 1998, Penrith Club offered administration facilities, and Eden Arts financial guarantees and advice. RAM models were imported from London for the first weekend and tutors Peter Liddle, Ifor Freeman and Rachel Gibson were engaged.

Getting the word around proved a considerable task, but we were greatly assisted in this by Ullswater Community College, who undertook a big mailing, and Joyce Tebbut, who runs the Beck Road Art Group in Carlisle.
John Parkinson partitioned his workshop and created a large space (now Gallery 2), all redecorated and with new heating. The result was a first-class venue. Bookings came fast and this first series of sessions was fully booked. In parallel, over the five weeks, John and Elaine ran an exhibition of life paintings and sculpture featuring the work of local artists, which was an inspiration to those attending the workshops.

The venture had washed its face financially, and Penrith Arts Club decided to continue the Life in Eden project with monthly workshops. The new venue was (and continues to be) Ivegill village hall. Life in Eden is now supported by people from across Cumbria and surrounding counties.

We are delighted to be returning to Upfront for a dedicated exhibition (see details below). The dedication of John, Elaine, Holly and their team is excellent.

We have heard nothing from this venture for several years now. If it is still going, it is no longer a Barefacts affiliated workshop. We have left the article as an example of how leaders of affiliated workshops used to write enthusiastic articles for us about their projects.

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