‘Ruskin’s Good Looking’ drawings by Sarah Casey

6 February – 7 April 2019


Ruskin’s Good Looking!: Absence and presence in John Ruskin’s clothing.  Drawings by Sarah Casey.


Ruskin thought of architectural and natural ornament as forms of dress which simultaneously cloak and reveal. References to textiles and clothing occur throughout his work and he famously inspired the local linen industry with the production of Ruskin Lace. Sarah Casey applies Ruskin’s ideas about drawing, looking and appearance to explore the details of his own clothes, many items of which survive at Brantwood. Sarah has been artist in residence at Brantwood through 2018. Her show, which includes work on Ruskin’s christening robe, will open in time to mark the 200th Anniversary of Ruskin’s birth on 8th February 1819, and his christening 13 days later.


Sarah makes drawings which test the limits of visibility and material existence. Her delicate and elusive drawings ask: at what point does visibility disappear and drawing become immaterial? Her practice reflects a fascination with the unseen, untouchable and unspoken. Sarah Casey is Lecturer in Sculpture and Installation at Lancaster University.




On Saturday 2nd March Sarah will be running a workshop which offers the opportunity to examine details of Ruskin’s clothing through drawing. It will introduce participants to methods of examining and interpreting garments through drawing using accessible exercises to train the eye, building on Ruskin’s ethos of drawing as a means to understand the world.  The workshop also includes a guided talk of the exhibition demonstrating how the work has been developed using the methods applied in this workshop. The final section of the workshop will involve an introduction to Casey’s technique of drawing in wax used for the works in the exhibition.  £70 for the workshop.  Runs 10-5.  Booking essential.



‘Ruskin’s Good Looking!’ will be on display in the Blue Gallery at Brantwood, open every day Wed-Sun 10.30am – 4.00pm and from 18 March 2019 10.30am-5.00pm.  Admission is included in the house ticket.

Event Information

Date & Time:6th February - 7th April 2019

Brantwood is an independent registered charity - The Brantwood Trust Coniston Cumbria LA21 8AD enquiries@brantwood.org.uk Telephone: 015394 41396 Fax: 015394 41263