Thorney How has participated in C-art for several years showcasing local artists in our exhibition space that also doubles as a restaurant / bar. We are thrilled to be working this year with Karen Babayan winner of C-Art Cumbria Artist of the Year 2016

Swallows and Armenians at Thorney How, Grasmere
Karen Babayan explores the real Armenian family behind Arthur Ransome’s fictional ‘Swallows’, in the context of her own family history, storytelling and mythmaking.
Born in Iran to Armenian/British parents, she moved to UK following the Islamic Revolution.  She has lived in the Eden Valley in Cumbria since 2009.  Her current project Swallows and Armenians is based on the inspiration for the Walker family in the classic Arthur Ransome book Swallows and Amazons.  The Altounyans, Anglo Armenians from Allepo, spent summer holidays in Coniston with their maternal grandfather W.G. Collingwood, a notable artist and secretary to John Ruskin, who lived nearby at Brantwood.  Arthur Ransome was a close family friend for many years who visited them in the Lake District as a child and later, as an adult.
In 1928 Dora (nee. Collingwood) and her husband Ernest visited Coniston with their five young children, to stay for the summer at Dora’s family home by Coniston Water. Arthur Ransome and his wife Evgenia met up with Dora and Ernest and rekindled their friendship.  Arthur and Ernest went off to Barrow and bought Ernest’s children two 14ft dinghies, which were to become the catalyst for Swallows And Amazons.
Babayan will be showing a selection of work in mixed media, exploring the real characters behind Arthur Ransome’s fictional ‘Swallows’, in the context of her own family history, storytelling and mythmaking.

The exhibition runs until 29th October 2017.

Thorney How is open 2-7.30pm during the C-Art Festival 8-17 Sept (except Sundays) and 3.30-7.30pm at all other times.

Thorney How offers relaxed and friendly guest accommodation in Grasmere, the heart of the Lake District. Accommodation includes en-suite B&B double, twin or family rooms, plus simpler Bunkhouse style accommodation. Ideal for all sorts of group activities, team building, educational visits, adventure activities, and celebrations. 4 star Hostel rating by Visit England. Please join us for a drink in our bar or book ahead for our evening meals at £14.95 per person for 2 courses served between 6.30 and 7.30pm.



C-Art Festival Open Studios
C-Art Festival Open Studios

Across Cumbria, Please see individual artist listings

Date: 8th September 2017 To 17th September 2017

Timing: 10:00 am To 5:00 pm

Listing Information

South Lakeland

Installation,Mixed Media,Painting



About your venue - Accessibility

Rough track from narrow lane.

Gravel surface to car park, uneven in places.

Yes, but they can be avoided via a gentle slope.

Large entrance door, but steps through to main exhibition space - can also be accessed through a second narrow door with smaller step.



Main entrance only.



Visited 932 times, 2 Visits today

Reviews are disabled, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.

Related Listings

Cumbria’s Top 50 Trees

Nunwick Old Hall, Great Salkeld, Penrith, CA11 9LN, United Kingdom

Friday 15th - Sunday 17th 10am-5pm


Installation, Photography, Wood

Cumbria’s Top 50 Trees is a Heritage Lottery Fund project that celebrates powerful and moving personal human stories behind a diverse selection of trees within the county. They inspire people to battle illness, fire the imagination of children and evoke memories of loved ones now gone.Read more…

Vee’s Art

1 Leith Close, Cliburn, Penrith, United Kingdom CA10 3AJ

Friday 15th - Sunday 17th 10am-5pm



I live in  a beautiful area between the Pennines and the Lakedistrict and want to capture in my art the energy and emotions I feel here.  I paint Landscapes Sea and Lakes and just recently Buildings,  I want to stir emotions and perhaps memories, to comunicate feelings rather than just…Read more…

Jonathan Trotman

Keswick CA12 5PG, United Kingdom

8th - 10th & 15th - 17th September 10am - 4pm



I have always painted, mainly landscapes, mainly mountain scenes but also coastal scenes, often including figures and other elements to help with scale and sense of place. Strong use of colour and texture have always been a major part of my work.Read more…

Celia Burbush

Workington, United Kingdom


Performance/Live Art

What are our intimate feelings around the idea of home? Do we feel an extra need for security or shelter during times of change? Celia Burbush has been collaborating with puppeteer Ali McCaw, to develop a live interactive performance piece.Read more…

Janette Phillips

Laburnum House, Milnthorpe, Cumbria LA7 7QE, United Kingdom

Friday 15th - Sunday 17th 10am-5pm

South Lakeland

Mixed Media, Painting

Janette Phillips is an artist, designer and art mentor living in South Cumbria. Inspired by the gifts of nature and the seasonal changes around her, Janette’s work is full of movement, colour, boundless joy and appreciation.Read more…