SEUL: Encountering the Other In Solitude by Kate Kirkwood

10 October 2023 – 7 January 2024

Kate Kirkwood is a photographer based on a farm in the English Lake District.

“From birth until my early fifties, I was surrounded by family in one way or another; now, without ever planning it, I find myself living alone on a hill farm in the Lake District.  Over the past decade or so, my company has often been simply the expansive, oscillating silence of hills and sky, especially present through the long winters.  Having grown up in Africa, this place is still, even after thirty-six years, foreign to me in some ways, but it has seeped in and filled my every vein regardless.

This kind of solitude is a dream for many though just occasionally it can become an aching loneliness.  Over the years, starting out with just a small point-and-shoot camera, I’ve taken photographs of my surroundings and the animals who reside in them.  This slowly accumulated archive now seems like a celebration of this rare and beautiful quietude, and also the discovery and recognition of some of the resilience, acceptance and grace of the animals I have encountered.  The creatures I meet are not exotic; they are mostly domestic farm animals and the small, wild creatures who survive on the farms and in the few remaining pockets of wilderness.  Coming upon another living creature when alone – and sometimes being noticed by them momentarily in return – is quite different from doing so in the company of others, when the experience is shared.

I hope that visitors to the exhibition might identify with that fleeting wonder of singular engagement themselves.  I hope too that, in a modest way, this series of images might also be metaphorical, describing, through the animals, something of how it feels to be alone, even if for a few, brief, unguarded moments.”


Further information:
  • Brantwood is open every day during summer (10.30 – 5.00) and Wednesday to Sunday (from 13 November) during winter (10.30 – 4.30), also closing on Christmas & Boxing Day.
  • Costs: Admission to the house and gardens is £14.00 for adults, £11.50 for students and free for children (16 and under). Admission to the gardens is £6.20 for adults, £5.00 for students and free for children (16 and under).  Admission to The Treasury and Studio exhibition is also included in the garden ticket
  • Location Brantwood, Coniston,  Cumbria  LA21 8AD
  • For more information please call  015394 41396; email: