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Complete Trail Collection

Purchase the complete trail collection for a copy of all 6 trail brochures in an attractive box

Makes an ideal gift or collectors item.

Now in stock

Complete Trail Collection
Price: £15.00
The Man Who Couldn't Stop Drawing PRE-ORDER NOW - REPRINT AVAILABLE 8TH MAY OR BEFORE.

The extraordinary life of Percy Kelly.

Percy Kelly began to draw as soon as he could hold a pencil. He didn`t draw like a child. He had an innate understanding of perspective, draughtmanship and balance. He drew or painted every day of his life even through his army service in the second world war often in defiance of orders to send his materials home. In his first job in the postal service he would occasionally draw on the mail he was about to deliver until there was a complaint from one recipient. He drew on plastic plates in hospital. He drew on the back of cereal packets and envelopes. He drew and doodled on anything in his orbit. It was a compulsion. A day without drawing plunged him into depression. It was as necessary to his health as eating and drinking.

After his death in 1993, Chris Wadsworth brought his life`s work back to his native Cumberland and has been his champion, building his reputation from nothing. In the last 18 years she has gathered information from many sources, built it up piece by piece like a jigsaw and now is ready to tell the story of the extraordinary life of Percy Kelly which began in a terrace house in Workington, Cumbria, through Cornwall and Brittany to a derelict house in Pembrokeshire and a cottage in the backwoods of Norfolk. On that journey he discussed art with the Prime Minister Winston Churchill during air raids, shook hands with the King, George VI, at the National Gallery and dined with members of the Royal family. He corresponded with some of the highest in the land and ended up lonely and confused in a cottage in Norfolk surrounded by his beloved collection of art.

The Man Who Couldn't Stop Drawing  PRE-ORDER NOW -  REPRINT AVAILABLE 8TH MAY OR BEFORE.
Price: £25.00
Catalogue 2017/18 Percy Kelly Tullie House Carlisle

Line of Beauty

A Retrospective

108 full colour pages 240 x 225

Essays by Blake Morrison, Andy Christian and people who knew Kelly.

Catalogue 2017/18 Percy Kelly Tullie House Carlisle
Price: £20.00
Life Class

Chris Wadsworth is a born storyteller. With its cast of painters, hustlers and eccentrics, her memoir reads more like a comic novel at times. If you've ever wondered what it's like to run a provincial art gallery, this is the book for you.
Blake Morrison

'It was pure theatre,' says Chris 'with a large cast of Interesting people - art lovers, eccentrics and artists passed through the gallery each day. I never knew what would happen next but something dramatic invariably did.'

In this memoir Chris tells the stories of some of the people, the art works and the situations she encountered in her 25 years  at Castlegate House - the gallery she began almost by accident, which became an overnight success and took over her life.

Was the knob man a serial killer? Was the relief she found a genuine Ben Nicholson? How did she get her Magic Knickers?

You will find the answers in this book which is in turn hilarious, informative and sad.

Life Class
Price: £5.00
Allonby Trail

Allonby is a small village five miles north of Maryport on the Solway coast.  It was a busy fishing village for many years; its main catch being herring which were smoked in the Fish houses. It is known for its long sandy beaches, grassy sand dunes and views over to Dumfries and Galloway. It is popular with wind surfers and walkers.

Traditionally workers from the North East have come here for their annual holiday to stay in the numerous caravan sites scattered around the village. It is a friendly place and the sunsets are vivid. The fishing industry has gone but you will see some grand houses on your walk as well as the imposing building which was Public Baths and the Reading Rooms, the legacy of a quaker beneficiary which is now being privately restored.

A walk round the village reveals plenty of Kelly subjects.

Allonby Trail
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Maryport Trail

Kelly was fascinated by harbours and boats. His paintings and drawings are linear, deceptively simple and satisfying. Maryport with its geometric grid pattern and harbour views appealed to his sense of balance and design. It became one of his favourite places to work. He discovered it  as a boy when he cycled up the coast from his home town of Workington. It was a place to which he constantly returned because it offered so much material on which to base his drawings. He saw the town with an artist's keen eye. He had no time for irrelevant detail. He wasn't interested in making a photographic record. He wanted to make a picture.

Maryport has seen many changes in its development from a fishing creek in Roman times through rapid development in the industrial revolution and decline in the depression in the twentieth century.

We can see  and compare these changes on the walk as we see them through the eyes of Percy Kelly, one of the most talented Cumbrian artists of the Twentieth Century.

Maryport Trail
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Workington Trail

Workington is not a tourist destination, nor is it Utopia but it is important as the town where Percy Kelly was born and grew up. This visit helps us understand him and his work. This trail tells the story of Kelly’s childhood. He lived in the centre of town until he was 10 in an area of grey depressing streets. There were 3 adults and 7 children crammed into the little terraced house. The harbour and docks were just a short walk away - a wonderland to a child.

The trail emphasises the contrast.

This is the shortest and easiest of the six trails. You will spend time at the harbour in Workington where Kelly did his first drawings and walk past his home in Corporation Road and first school a little further along. It is easy to imagine him as a small child marching down to the harbour with a pencil and paper – often just a bit of cardboard packaging. You can see him toddling off to school with his twin brother John.

Workington Trail
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