John Ruskin’s Bicentenary year
In 2019, Brantwood celebrated the bicentenary of Ruskin’s birth with an event calendar full of wonder, including the celebration of Ruskin’s influence on the Japanese Arts and Crafts movement, stimulated by Ruskin’s writings and the impact made on the figure who galvanised Japanese craftsmen and patrons, intellectuals and retailers into creating the Mingei craft movement; Yanagi Soetsu (1889-1961). In May, the Japanese Urasenke foundation visited Brantwood to conduct a Japanese Tea Ceremony as part of a programme which included a display of pots from the Mingei (folk crafts) tradition and its Ruskin connections featuring work by Ogata Kenzan, Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leech, Tomoo Hamada, Edward Hughes and Martin Miles Moore, with calligraphy by Mitsuko Takahashi.
Tomoo Hamada, potter opened the show with a talk about his grandfather, renowned potter Shoji Hamada.
Alongside this, dance performances took place by Cumbria Youth Dance Company, referencing elements of two of Ruskin’s diverse passions – love of the mountains and social justice.