'I reach out to you - oh, to be held in your love' Kate Genever, 2019

A Centre of Attention

ACoA - A Centre of Attention, is a nomadic project space invented by a diverse group of individuals from communities across South Lakeland. Participants came together through the artist commission Who Cares? led by Kate Genever.

It responds directly to their ambitions and desires for a public, co-produced, progressive art-space – free and open to all and its first programme begins here, in Abbot Hall Art Gallery.

ACoA is a weekly changing programme of displays and workshops which is free to attend until 1 February 2020. Opening the project with the first display is Kate Genever's response to A Centre of Attention.

Visitors can find the full schedule detailed below.

The Commission - Who Cares?

The development stage of the project ‘Who Cares?’ took place over nine months and involved many conversations, resulting in the creation of this new co-produced pilot project. Importantly Who Cares? brought both employees and communities together to listen and hear one another equally. 

What is Co-Production

Cultural democracy gives everyone the opportunity to participate in making and representing culture which is particularly important for un/misrepresented or marginalised groups. Co-producing with a wide variety of groups and individuals ensures the equal representation of different voices and identities, throughout society.

ACoA - Lakeland Arts Pilot Project

The Participation and Learning team at Lakeland Arts are embarking on a journey to co-produce its entire programme. All communities will be at the centre of planning and representation, bringing cultural democracy to Kendal.

This first iteration of ACoA will include activity generated by the Who Cares? participants and interested others. It is the start of our journey and we are actively inviting people to take part in certain activities and respond to our on-going understanding of motivations to access art and culture. Where you see this invitation - join in! 

See here for the Manifesto for A Centre of Attention.


Weekly schedule

Who cares? led by Kate Genever - 7 to 16 November 2019

Artist response to A Centre of Attention

Manna House - 21 to 23 November 2019

Manna House is a charity open for all the community of South Lakeland, offering housing and benefits advice, personal support, training and advocacy services. From answering the smallest question about tenant rights to tackling big issues such as being made homeless or struggling with debt, they are open to everyone, including the most vulnerable adults in our community.

When Manna House takes over the Centre of Attention you can see the gorgeous Grayson Perry inspired Tapestry created by Lakeland Arts’ artist, Donna Campbell, and the participants of Manna House, with help from the Lakeland Arts’ Dementia Group. Ordinarily this hangs proudly in Manna House's space at the Stephenson Centre on Ann Street in Kendal. There will also be creative works from the talented Women of Manna House, our Sew What? Group, which meets Mondays, 10.00am-12.00pm. Additionally, there will be a video called “Selkie Selfie” exploring the traits we least like in ourselves which Ed Coyle, Chris Ireson and Linda Fjodorova made with the service users of Manna House over a three month period, as well as Talking Heads, a series of brave interview shorts on the homeless experience.

Learn more about the Manna House Tapastry here.

Kirkbie Kendal - 28 to 30 November 2019

Caravan of Conversations by Hannah Fox - 12 to 14 December 2019

This interactive display provides a nomadic and comfortable setting for conversations to flow.

Jocelyn McGregor - 19 to 21 December 2019

*The art gallery will be closed over the Christmas period*

Jocelyn McGregor - 9 to 11 January 2020

Grayrigg & Crosthwaite School - 23 to 25 January 2020

A News Approach, by Kendal College - 27 January to 1 February 2020

Students exhibition of work responding to articles in the press.


Keep a look out for further contributors and their works still to be confirmed.

Follow us on social media to see how the #acentreofattention unfolds, and share your thoughts with us too!


Location: South Gallery at Abbot Hall Art Gallery

Date: 7 November 2019 until 1 February 2020

Price: FREE to enter - please let the front desk know you are wishing to see A Centre of Attention.



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  • 'I reach out to you - oh, to be held in your love' Kate Genever, 2019


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