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Open: Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–5pm

Please note we are closed on Bank Holiday Mondays

Li Yuan-chia standing at the porch of the LYC Museum & Art Gallery, featuring window designed by David Nash. Image courtesy of Li Yuan-chia Archive, The University of Manchester Library.
For Adults

Space | Time | Life: a gathering

9 February 2024, 11am – 6pm at Wysing Arts Centre

Join us for a one-day gathering inspired by the LYC Museum and Art Gallery, co-organised by Kettle’s Yard, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Wysing Arts Centre.

Book Now Free, booking required

About the Event

The one-day gathering takes the LYC Museum & Art Gallery (the LYC, operating between 1972-1983) as inspiration and provocation to think about alternative infrastructures for artistic and creative practice – past, present and future – and what rural space, outside the perceived centre, can offer.

In a set of converted farm buildings that Li Yuan-chia had bought from his friend, the painter Winifred Nicholson, the LYC offered gallery space, a children’s room, a library, performance areas, a printing press, a communal kitchen, and a garden. Taking place across the spaces at Wysing Arts Centre, this event will consist of conversations, workshops and interventions focused around:

· Reimagining the rural

· Creating belonging and community

· Visionary spaces for coexistence

· Legacies of the LYC project

This event is organised in collaboration by Wysing, Kettle’s Yard and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art to coincide with Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends. It is open to anyone interested in exploring these themes and ideas. The day will involve listening, conversation and participating in workshop activities.

Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends

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.

The exhibition retraces Li’s commitment to fostering creativity, his interest in play and his investment in new ways of being in the world. Through the LYC, Li showcased Roman artefacts, works by major figures of British modernism, local artists and contemporary practices including kineticism, land art and video. The LYC’s children’s room provided a place for young people to experiment with art making, while craft workshops played host to communities of making. Much like Kettle’s Yard, the LYC also had a library, a garden, and spaces to socialise, transforming how we encounter art.

The exhibition puts the LYC into conversation with Kettle’s Yard. Both projects evolved over time, with collections (in the case of Kettle’s Yard) and exhibitions (in the case of the LYC) being shaped through friendships and personal affiliations, including with the artist Winifred Nicholson, who was an important presence at both the LYC and Kettle’s Yard.

Li’s practice – as both artist and organiser – is at the centre of the exhibition, along with those artists he exhibited at the LYC and those who were part of the cosmopolitan networks he enabled and enriched. Making New Worlds will also include works by contemporary artists reflecting on the afterlives of Li’s work in the present.

Find out more about Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends

Li Yuan-chia, Untitled, c.1960, ink on paper. Image courtesy of the Li Yuan-chia Foundation


  • Transport to and from Cambridge train station can be provided.
  • To reserve a space on minibus/taxi ride from Cambridge train station to Wysing (outbound and/or return) please purchase the necessary ‘Bus’ tickets in addition to your ‘Conference Ticket’.
  • Further details about exact arrival/departure times to follow.