Swallows And Armenians by Karen Babayan
Exhibition - Swallows and Armenians at Thorney How, Grasmere
We are thrilled to have ‘C-Art Cumbria Artist of the Year 2016’ Karen Babayan joining us at Thorney How exhibiting her most recently produced work in her new show Swallows and Armenians. We first saw and loved Karen’s boldly coloured and graphic work 25 years ago as part of In-situ, an exhibition at Dean Clough in Halifax. We have become good friends over the years with our paths crossing many times within the arts world.
Babayan, explores the real Armenian family behind Arthur Ransome’s fictional ‘Swallows’, the children who are part of his well known ‘Swallows and Amazon’s’ story, in the context of her own family history, storytelling and mythmaking.
Born in Iran to Armenian/British parents, Babayan moved to the UK following the Islamic Revolution and has lived in the Eden Valley in Cumbria since 2009. Her current project Swallows and Armenians is based on the the real life Altounyan & Collingwood family who inspired Arthur Ransome’s classic tale. The Altounyans, Anglo Armenians from Allepo, spent their summers holidaying and walking in Coniston with their maternal grandfather W.G. Collingwood, a notable artist and secretary to John Ruskin, who lived nearby at Brantwood. Arthur Ransome, a close family friend of the Altounyans, joined them on their many visits to the Lake District as a child and later, as an adult.
In 1928 Dora (nee. Collingwood) and her husband Ernest visited Coniston with their five young children, to stay for the summer at Dora’s family home by Coniston Water. Arthur Ransome and his wife Evgenia met up with Dora and Ernest and rekindled their friendship. Arthur and Ernest went off to Barrow and bought Ernest’s children two 14ft dinghies, which were to become the catalyst for Swallows And Amazons.
Babayan will be showing a selection of work in mixed media, exploring the real characters behind Arthur Ransome’s fictional ‘Swallows’, in the context of her own family history, storytelling and mythmaking.
The exhibition runs until 29th October 2017. Thorney How is open 2-7.30pm during the C-Art Festival 8-17 Sept (except Sundays) and 3.30-7.30pm at all other times.
Talk by artist Karen Babayan
Plus screening of the original Swallows and Amazons film
5.30pm Sunday 17th September.
A small buffet will be provided.
Free, but please book. Donations in aid of Tsiatsan Textile School for children in Spitak, Armenia will be taken at the event. We recommend £5
Booking through Eventbrite or contact us direct.