The Heaton Cooper Studio has built an acclaimed reputation for staging a top-class in-house and touring exhibition programme.
The Heaton Cooper family have created a world leading artistic space known as the Archive Gallery, located in the heart of Grasmere, in the English Lake District, a space devoted to mountain art. The Archive Gallery has exhibited innovative contemporary works by artists such as Tessa Lyons, stunning mountain photography by Henry Iddon, environmental photography by Ashley Cooper, illuminating sculpture by Ophelia Gordon Bell and high fashion by artist and designer Linda Ryle alongside works by the UK’s leading contemporary mountain artist Julian Cooper.
The team continue to develop a varied programme of exhibitions themed specifically around mountain art, curating a programme based on the key themes of mountains, nature and humankind’s connection to and immersion in the landscapes in which we live. The world’s diverse mountain scenery, moulded over many millions of years by the forces of nature forms the basis of a compelling tale that has inspired and captivated for millennia. A tale that has captivated the Heaton Cooper family for four generations and has inspired them to capture the embodiment of the world’s most iconic mountain landscapes from the Himalaya, Norwegian Fjords to the Lake District Fells, their spiritual and physical home.
A remarkable piece of Lake District history is on display here at the Heaton Cooper archive gallery in Grasmere.
A bronze plaque listing all 20 names of the members of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club who served in the First World War is the centrepiece of an exhibition. For many years it was set into the summit cairn on Great Gable, the seventh highest mountain in the Lakes.
It’s accompanied by the Fell & Rock journals from 1914-1919, photographs of the dedication ceremony on Gable in 1924, a poem “We Bought Them a Mountain”, by Max Biden, photographs and crag drawings of Gable, and Fell & Rock guidebooks illustrated by William Heaton Cooper.
The exhibition is to mark the centenary of a campaign to buy Great Gable for the nation as a memorial to the 20 climbers who died in the conflict. FRCC member Herbert Cain said publicly: “Let’s buy a fell.’’
The FRCC subsequently raised the funds to buy 3,000 acres of fell land and gave it to the National Trust. The memorial plaque was unveiled on Whit Sunday, 1924, and remained on the summit until July 2013 when members of the Royal Engineers brought it down for re-casting, and put a new one in its place.
Julian Cooper, William’s son, and Britain’s foremost mountain painter, said: “It was a amazingly bold and generous act by the Fell & Rock Club to donate so much of the high fells to the National Trust, and such a fitting memorial to those who lost their lives”
The plaque will be on display at the gallery until May.