New Exhibition Reveals A Life Full Of Colour

A retrospective exhibition celebrating the life and work of the talented, and much-loved Lake District artist Libby Edmondson will open in the Rheged Gallery from 13 September to 26 November 2023. For the first time in over 20 years, Libby’s work will be together in the most extensive exhibition of her work to date. From sculpture to weaving, embroidery to ceramics, pastels to paintings, this exhibition co curated by Rheged, Libby’s husband Nigel and youngest son Rick, encompasses the full breadth of Libby’s work and her creativity in all its forms.

Libby is renowned for her unique interpretation of Lake District landscapes, which she painted with accuracy to ensure it was instantly recognisable but gave them a contemporary feel through a very powerful use of vibrant colour. Libby also enjoyed painting seascapes, gardens, still life, and rural life. Libby produced some 270 paintings during her life, over 50 of which will be displayed together in this Exhibition, for the first time, due to generous loans and recently discovered work.

Nigel Edmondson commented “ I was delighted to be approached by Rheged with the idea of hosting a major Libby Edmondson retrospective. This is a fitting tribute and celebration of a creative, talented and beautiful artist who was at the peak of her powers when she died. She excelled in every discipline she explored, never ran out of ideas and still had so much to For immediate release 23 August 23 give. Libby loved the landscape, enjoyed walking in it and got inspiration on almost every occasion. She would come home with an irresistible urge to paint.”

The exhibition will reveal the story of Libby’s life, her inspiration and provide an insight into how Libby created her artwork through films of her painting, quotes, photography and original artwork. It will include a re-creation of Libby’s studio which was in the garden of her home in Levens, near Kendal plus a rare opportunity to see “The final piece” Libby was working on before her passing in December 2022.

Libby’s paintings have been showcased in prestigious exhibitions, including the Mall Galleries in London. Libby was also chosen as the artist to feature in the BBC TV programme “Glorious Gardens from Above” in which she created a pastel artwork of the famous Levens Hall Gardens, live on camera – the film footage from which is included in the Exhibition. Libby was a strong supporter of the Calvert Trust and was delighted to take up the invitation to paint a life size sculpture of a Herdwick Ewe and Lamb in 2016. The sale of the Sheep and Lamb raised £4800 for the Calvert Trust when they were sold at the charity auction. The H and H Group who ran the auction helped track down the buyers, so both the Ewe and Lamb can be displayed within the exhibition.

Claire Harrison, Gallery Manager and Co-Curator said “this has been one of the most enjoyable exhibitions I have worked on because of the scope of Libby’s work from textiles, sculpture and paintings, as well as the fascinating stories behind each one. We are very grateful to both Nigel and Rick who have provided extensive materials which will really help illuminate both how Libby produced her artwork and a personal insight into Libby the person – “a lady who was always doing”.

There will also be an opportunity to buy Libby’s work, as 19 original artworks were recently discovered hidden away in Libby’s home. There will be a wide selection of limited edition prints available on paper and canvas, a 2024 calendar, cards and candles.

Libby Edmondson: A life full of colour exhibition will be in the Gallery at Rheged, near Penrith CA11 0DQ from Wednesday 13 September – Sunday 26 November. Parking and entry is free. It will be open daily from 10am-5pm

Find Out More

266.fleetwith from buttermere.dw2 (2).jpg
Libby Edmondson - Fleetwith from Buttermere