Wednesday, 22 June 2011


'Be careful, the paint's still wet!' was the warning as Marie Scott came through the door last Sunday. Fresh from her easel, the painting to the right still has no title - it may evolve or it may stay as Untitled 42. (or it may come to rest on our wall as so many other Scotts have done.) She propped it up on the sideboard and we ogled it as we drank a wee glass of champagne. It's the best she's done for some time so it came home with us where we are enjoying it a lot. It will hit the gallery wall next weekend though it's tempting.....


Where will you find a live artist, live music and a sonic garden this Saturday? Cockermouth of course

Douglas Davies - our current exhibitionist - will be in the gallery meeting people and talking about his work. He has just got back from France where he does much of his painting. See his work on

And - I hardly dare write this in case it upsets the Sun God again - there will be more live music in the garden depending on the weather of course. There will be music all over the town; in Wordsworth House, Jennings' Brewery, The Memorial Gardens and Toy Shop Alley (not to be confused withTin Pan Alley!) to name a few venues for Cockermouth Live! There will be no escape. There will be a Sonic Garden in the Market Place 11 - 4.00 when you can experiment in making music yourself. - sounds interesting and noisy? There will be something for everyone in the town including the tone deaf.- erm especially for the tone deaf maybe.

We begin at the gallery with ambient jazz by ESP at 1.00, vocalist Annemarie Quinn at 2.00 and accoustic rock with Kitchie Wood at 3.00. There will be a bar. More details on

Jazz on a Summer afternoon last Sunday was sadly relocated in the Kirkgate. Despite erecting a gazebo in the garden to protect the band, the sky was black and foreboding - and it was cold. Organiser Bob Pritchard who works so hard for the town was determined it should be in the garden but was overruled by the band when they arrived who insisted they needed to keep their instruments dry. They were proved right as it got colder and a bit drizzly as the afternoon went on.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Douglas Davies

Think of a summer afternoon in an English garden with the heady smell of old roses, a Jazz band and sculpture on the lawn. Combine that with a great new exhibition of paintings inside in the gallery. Provided the sun shines, I can't think of anything much better than that so I am keeping fingers crossed for good weather. The gallery is open 12.00 - 5.00 and the jazz begins at 3.00.

Douglas Davies was once head of ceramics at Glasgow School of Art - a prestigious post which he gave up to pot and paint full time. He had a few exhibitions here at Castlegate House in the past but he is now just painting and loving it.

In the true Scottish tradition he revels in colour. He travels extensively in Europe so in this solo show, his first here for some years, he is showing Scottish landscapes combined with Paris, Brittany and Spain. Have a look on the exhibitions page of our web site you'll see what I mean.

Having hung the show we are off to Liverpool to soak up more culture. The primary incentive is an exhibition of photographs by Don McPhee, a guardian photographer who died in 2007. His marvellous collection of specially selected highlights of his work has been gifted to Liverpool Hope University and we are off to the opening which gives us the excuse to see what else is on offer in this city of exceptional tallent and imagination. It's not all football and Beatles!

Thursday, 9 June 2011


This weekend will be the last chance to catch the excellent Patricia Sadler exhibition. She suffered a little at the beginning by following in the wake of Percy Kelly - we sold all but three of his show and a few more as well - but she is now catching up fast. It is well worth taking a look. All her work is on the exhibitions page of our web site

Cockermouth's Midsummer Festival starts Friday 17th June with an opening by broadcaster and writer Stuart Maconie. It just rolls on from there through the summer solstice with loads of attractive and exciting events all week. The gallery will host JAZZ ON A SUMMER AFTERNOON in the garden at Castlegate House on Sun 19 June at 3pm with Mike Lovell's 6 in Bar which is one of the most sought-after jazz bands in the North West.

I heard a whisper there might be Pimms as well. Heaven! Can't think of anything better than Jazz and Pimms on the lawn among the poppies, irises and old roses. Bring a rug and cushions if you wish. Otherwise there are benches and chairs. Like last year it will be relaxed and informal. If it happens to rain (heaven forbid) it will transfer to the Kirkgate but I think it will be a lovely summer afternoon in the garden - I feel it in my bones.

Many of the newly refurbished shops will be open that Sunday 12 - 4 including the long awaited Percy House (and us of course launching a new exhibition by Douglas Davies).

There are many more events all week. Please come and support us all - a lot of hard work has gone into the organisation. See for more information.