I have promised myself a visit Kettle’s Yard for a long time, at the weekend I finally made it. Given I live within an hour’s drive why did it take so long? The visit was one of the pleasantest afternoons I have passed in a long while. The house is beautiful. It has many moods, ranging from the almost claustrophobic, intimate spaces of the cottage conversions to the expansive, galleried, light filled spaces (they don’t feel like rooms) of the extension.
Then of course there is the collection. The bringing together of artworks and objects. The everyday, natural, man-made juxtaposed with an exquisite drawing – that nagging feeling that I ought to be able to recognise who made it, a name on the tip of my tongue but somehow just beyond recollection. There are no labels to dispel the intellectual enquiry (there is a comprehensive guide book), you have to go with your senses and just enjoy the drawing/artwork for what it is. The meticulously placed natural and everyday objects command equal attention, blurring the boundary between what is art and what is ordinary, revealing unexpected beauty and pleasure.
There is also of course that special something that particularly catches your eye. I loved the ‘unkempt’ house plants roaming across glass-house window bays, which reminded me of living Carl Larson images, the Javanese puppet with its slightly enigmatic smile/sneer,
and of course I found a textile, whose worn beauty was entrancing.
The staff were knowledgeable and extremely welcoming, encouraging a return visit to literally see the house in another light and experience and enjoy new revelations. I will go back, take the guidebooks and be more systematic about investigating the collection, but it was a delight to enjoy the experience of just snooping round a fantastic house.