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Top Stories from 2023

Join us in looking back over the last twelve months.

January: Exhibition Tour of ‘Paint Like the Swallow Sings Calypso’

In January we began the year with a very busy exhibition tour of our exhibition Paint Like the Swallow Sings Calypso. We were delighted to welcome over 50 people who all came along to find out more about the exhibition with artist Errol Lloyd and curator Guy Haywood.

February: Celebrating ‘Art Now’

Photo by Isabel Salmon

In February we celebrated the outcome of our Art Now project. Art Now saw students from Castle School, an inclusive school supporting SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) students, working with Kettle’s Yard and artist in residence, Georgia Akbar to collectively develop a new artwork for the school.

The artwork was on display at the school and Kettle’s Yard in early February.

Find out more about the project here

March: Lucie Rie: Adventrue of Pottery Opened and Sonita Alleyne Appointed Chair of the Kettle’s Yard Committee

In March we were delighted to appoint Sonita Alleyne as the new Chair of the Kettle’s Yard Committee. As Chair, Alleyne leads the Committee to support the smooth running of Kettle’s Yard, offer advice and guidance to the Director and the rest of the Kettle’s Yard team and act as an advocate and champion of Kettle’s Yard.

Find out more about Sonita here

March also saw the opening of Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery. This major exhibition celebrated one of the most significant potters of the twentieth century, offering a rare opportunity to experience Lucie Rie’s (1902–1995) ground-breaking practice. The first survey of her pottery in the UK in over 20 years, Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery featured more than 100 works, including bowls, vases, tableware and buttons.

Lucie Rie : The Adventure of Pottery Kettle's Yard, Cambridge

April: The Button Workshop

In April 2023 we transformed the Clore Learning Studio into an active Button Workshop, inspired by our exhibition Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery. During the war, unable to secure a license to make pots, Lucie Rie turned to making ceramic buttons for the fashion industry, experimenting with miniature forms and new glazes in the process. Rie’s buttons became a part of her practice, and some were on show in the exhibition at Kettle’s Yard.

Every weekend during April The Button Workshop was open to drop in and have a go at the button making process. On Saturdays we hosted contemporary potters who showed people how they make their pots on the potter’s wheel.

During the Easter school holidays there were also special children and adult workshops inspired by ceramics and button making.

Learn more about The Button Workshop

May: Ways of Life: Jim Ede and the Kettle’s Yard Artists is Published

‘Ways of Life: Jim Ede and the Kettle’s Yard Artists by Laura Freeman’ was published in May 2023. This first biography of the creator of Kettle’s Yard, Jim Ede, reveals more about his life and the formation of Kettle’s Yard. We were delighted to read this new book by Laura Freeman, and learn more about Jim and Helen Ede and Kettle’s Yard.


The beautiful, revelatory biography of Jim Ede and Kettle’s Yard that we have been waiting for. I loved it.

Edmund De Waal


This fabulously detailed account of the great collector’s treasures, artist friends and the Cambridge art gallery home he built with his wife, Helen, is a fitting testament to his cunning, determination and impeccable taste.

The Guardian

Buy Ways of Life here

June: Adham Faramawy Announced as Artist in Residence

On 7 June 2023, twelve emerging and mid-career artists were announced as part of the 20/20 project—a national commissioning and network programme investing in a new generation of ethnically minoritized and diverse artists.

At Kettle’s Yard, we were delighted to announce that Adham Faramawy would be our Artist-in-Residence. Adham Faramawy’s residency will lead to the production of a new artwork that will enter Kettle’s Yard’s permanent collection.

Find out more about the project and Adham here

July: Material Power: Palestinian Embroidery Opens

On 8 July we were delighted to open the exhibition Material Power: Palestinian Embroidery at Kettle’s Yard. The exhibition explored the historical life and contemporary significance of Palestinian embroidery. Curated by Rachel Dedman, the exhibition looked at the ways in which embroidery, primarily undertaken by women, has evolved through a century of turbulent history for the Palestinian people.

Material Power: Palestinian Embroidery was organised by Kettle’s Yard in collaboration with the Whitworth, The University of Manchester, where it travelled from 24 November 2023 – 7 April 2024.

Find out more about Material Power here

August: Sustainable Summer Workshops

Over August we launched a series of summer workshops for children focusing on sustainability. The workshops ranged from trying out different upcycling techniques, to creative collaging with old artworks.

We thought about the importance of reusing and recycling materials and creating beautiful artworks from old things!

September: Launch of the New Kettle’s Yard Website

In mid-September we launched a brand new website for Kettle’s Yard. Working with the team at Substrakt, we’ve been creating a new website that will help you discover more about Kettle’s Yard.

A key aim of our new website is to be more sustainable and more accessible for our audiences.

Let us know what you think by emailing

October: Artists Buttons

In October we launched our new project ‘Artists Buttons’. Ten leading artists have created limited edition sets of buttons in support of Kettle’s Yard: Ai Weiwei, Jonathan Anderson, Rana Begum, Edmund de Waal, Antony Gormley, Callum Innes, Jennifer Lee, Cornelia Parker, Vicken Parsons & Caroline Walker.

The artists have pushed themselves to explore new approaches and techniques, turning these everyday accessories into original art objects full of character, invention and personal stories.

Buy Artists Buttons here

Find out more about Artists Buttons here

November: Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends opens

In November we opened our current exhibition Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends at Kettle’s Yard. This group exhibition is based on the pioneering vision of artist Li Yuan-chia (1929 – 1994) and the LYC Museum & Art Gallery which he founded and ran between 1972 and 1983 in the Cumbrian village of Banks, alongside Hadrian’s Wall.

With kinetic art, sculpture, painting, works on paper and ceramics there is something for everyone.

Find out more about Making New Worlds here

Photo by My Linh Le

December: Families in Residence

In December we welcomed our brand new Families in Residence to Kettle’s Yard. The families will be spending time discovering the exhibition Making New World: Li Yuan-chia & Friends alongside our Artist Facilitators, sharing their thoughts, reflections and ideas. This will aid them to develop 3 new events, activities or creative resources to support other visitors to engage with ideas in the exhibition in the New Year.