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01 Mar 2011

'Drawn from Life', A Green Cardamom Project at Abbot Hall Gallery, Kendal, UK

'Drawn from Life' installation image, with Ali Kazim, 'Firefly II' (2008). Photography: Allan Parker

Drawn from Life
Green Cardamom / Abbot Hall Gallery, Kendal


15 January - 26 March 2011 Monday to Saturday, 10.30am - 5pm Exhibition talk with Hammad Nasar and Katherine Stout: 3 March, 6.30pm

Sophie Persson
+44 (0)20 7402 7125

Abbot Hall Art Gallery
Cumbria LA9 5AL

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Drawn from Life
A Green Cardamom Project
15 January – 26 March, 2011

Exhibition Talk: Thursday 3 March, 6.30pm, Abbot Hall Gallery, Kendal
Hammad Nasar, Curator and co-founder of Green Cardamom and Katharine Stout, Curator at Tate Britain and co-founder of The Drawing Room, London

Drawn from Life

Abbot Hall Gallery and Green Cardamom present Drawn from Life, an exhibition that looks at an expanded idea of drawing across time, continents and media.

This exhibition, one of the largest international exhibitions that Abbot Hall has hosted to date, brings together works by over 40 artists from a wide geographical spectrum – from South Asia, Australia and the Middle East to Europe and the US – juxtaposing early and mid-career international contemporary artists with Abbot Hall's collection of 18th - 20th century British art. This vast geographical scope and wide historical spectrum opens up a dialogue between these different locales and eras, using art, and specifically drawing, as a portal to explore questions of identity, history and the very act of living.

The exhibition has four broad themes – the landscape, the everyday, the diary and body politics – that overlap. This innovative show encompasses both the temporary exhibition spaces and the permanent galleries, with new commissions of site-specific works.

The new commissions include works by contemporary artists based in London (Noa Lidor), Colombo, Sri Lanka (Muhanned Cader) and Sydney/London (Jess MacNeil), who have been inspired either by the objects, architecture or surroundings of Abbot Hall. Lidor spells out in Braille, with small mounds of salt, a line from a poem written by a sitter for a George Romney portrait on a period table in the Georgian dining room; Cader paints an almost abstracted series of landscapes in three bands that appear from a distance as flags echoing a work by LS Lowry; MacNeil traces projected video footage in thick oil paint onto large Perspex sheets, the paint texture contributing to the depiction of the topography of the landscape.

The curatorial project began at Green Cardamom's London space in 2008-9 with a series of exhibitions examining the treatment of process, space and form in the drawing practice of artists working in the geographical contexts of mainly South Asia and the Middle East but also the US and Europe.

Drawn from Life at Abbot Hall Gallery is curated by Hammad Nasar, curator and co-founder of Green Cardamom in collaboration with Helen Watson, Artistic Director of the Lakeland Arts Trust.

A full colour publication with an essay by Katharine Stout, is being produced. For further information contact

Drawn from Life is supported by:

Arts Council England
Northern Rock Foundation
The Henry Moore Foundation
The John Ellerman Foundation
John Jones, London
Rangoonwala Foundation
Westmorland Arts Trust.