Workshops in People’s Homes \ Cumbria (2016)

Workshops in People’s Homes, a project developed by artist Joshua Sofaer, celebrated people and places in Cumbria. Joshua worked with eleven Cumbrian residents in early 2016, to develop a workshop to be delivered to the public in their own homes.

We hope that visiting folk in their homes will not only gave you the opportunity to develop a new skill but also learn something about the way that other people live and the stories that they have to share. We aimed to prove that kitchen table-tops and comfy armchairs can be creative hubs. As much social occasions as they are opportunities for training and sharing expertise, Workshops in People’s Homes toasted the domestic.

Devised for audiences interested in learning something new or those curious to visit other people’s homes, Workshops in People’s Homes was a public programme of unique activities and experiences in homes across Cumbria. 

Full workshop programme:

Textile Tasters / Barbara Birch
Swap skills, patterns and tips over ‘crafternoon tea’

Dreaming of Home / Celia Burbush
Have your ideal home visualised in an original artwork for you to keep

Domestic Bliss: Tea, Wine and Cyanotypes / Colin Reynolds
A two-day workshop creating cyanotypes from your own images and household items

Come As You Are / Di Larfynn
An evening off-grid in Di Larfynn’s seasonal home

The Tentorium Approaches / Hugh Pottinger
A shared conversation about how we use spaces in Penrith

Conversation with a stranger / Katarina Prior
Converse, exchange stories, brighten someone’s day

Nest! / Maud Mercier & Jean Wildish
Felt making, story-telling and creating a home

Make Yourself At Home / Nicholas Collins
Design and make your own unique kiln formed glass piece

Double Treble Bobble / Sandra Kendal
A warm welcome awaits you at Sandra’s pop up Crochet Museum

The Holy Grain / Sue Thurley
A pilgrimage celebrating nature, nutrition, furballs and the most important plant on earth, grass


Artist Bio

Joshua Sofaer (b. 1972 Cambridge, England) is an artist who is centrally concerned with modes of collaboration and participation. For Scavengers (Tate Modern, London; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Edinburgh Festival) members of the public raced around the city answering clues and forming a new gallery exhibition. Name in Lights was a national competition and installation in the City of Birmingham that culminated in a giant illuminated name in Centenary Square. Object Retrieval (a Wellcome project for UCL) was nominated for a 2010 Museum & Heritage Award for Excellence. Viver a Rua was the opportunity for citizens of Porto in Portugal to nominate someone to become the permanent name of a street in the city; all the maps have had to change.

In spring 2014 he directed a new staged version of Bach’s St Matthew Passion for Folkoperan in Stockholm. The Rubbish Collection at Science Museum London saw every single thing thrown out by staff, contractors and 281,647 visitors documented for 30 days before becoming an exhibition. In Summer 2015 he conceived and directed Border Force an immersive nightclub, for Duckie.



Commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices, working in partnership with Eden Arts and Florence Mine. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Event info:

  • Sat 21st May — Sun 12th Jun 2016

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