Visual Art

Visual art comes alive at Kendal

Art remains an integral part of Kendal Mountain Festival and we work to platform a diverse range of local and national artists. It's a privilege to showcase their incredible work and we hope you enjoy this opportunity to see their work up close. Dive in and discover each artist’s contribution to the ‘Outdoor’ genre and their personal celebration of landscape, nature and place.

Scroll down to learn more about who exhibited at our 2022 Festival. 


Photography Exhibition by Marc Langley


A deeply personal body of work which explores the void that is left with the loss of a sibling using climbing photography as a vehicle for this exploration. In conjunction with Petzl, Marc is taking familiar climbing routes and compositions and combining two distinct photography techniques to present something we as a climbing community are familiar with seeing but, in a new light. For Marc this body of work is about processing the loss of his brother, on another level it also reflects the world we are currently living in - a deeply polarised society consisting of polarising views and rigid belief cycles. However, using climbing photography Marc hopes to show that we should all try to view the world in a different light, challenge our beliefs and learn to exist in the present.

Marc Langley is a Lake District based adventure photographer. Born in Liverpool and raised in the North West of England. His parents introduced him to the outdoor world of climbing from an early age, scrambling around on the Gritstone Outcrops of Chew Valley and exploring the Yorkshire Dales with his Dad. As decades went on Marc found a love for climbing and subsequently a desire to record and document his adventures.

Since those early days in adventure sports photography Marc has built an extensive portfolio, working with some of the biggest commercial brands in the world and their respective athletes. From historically significant assignments with Patagonia, documenting some of the best climbers in the world ascending some of the most cutting edge routes as well all working on some of the most distinctive intimate interviews with the aforementioned.

Proudly supported by Petzl.


The Places We Go To Feel Small

by contemporary wilderness artist Samantha Gare


Sam’s work depicts the natural landscapes from which modern lifestyles are increasingly disconnected. Her work aims to share the positive power of nature on the human spirit and soul. She wants to reconnect us to nature and in turn promote us to conserve and respect the wilderness.

Driven by a lifelong passion for nature, she frequently travels to natural environments to inform her work, creating both in the studio and outdoors in the field.

Sea to the West - Graham Whitwham

A collection of photographs exploring the Cumbrian Coast


Cumbria’s coast extends to some 180 miles of often heavily-indented coastline and has a rich and fascinating history. The images in this collection, from Silverdale in the south to the Solway Firth in the north, form a photographic essay of this unique coast by highlighting places and events of historical note and importance. The images have been originated on traditional film in a wooden panoramic wide-angle pinhole camera which characteristically gives a degree of distortion and softness to the images.

Graham Whitwham was a keen landscape photographer who, for most of his adult life, lived and worked in South Cumbria. This collection of pinhole photographs exploring the Cumbrian coast is taken from “Sea to the West” which was published shortly before his death in 2021.

This exhibition was held at Cross Lane Projects, Cross Lane, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 5LB.


William Heaton Cooper

The Early Years - 1903 to 1943


This exhibition charts the early life and work of the painter William Heaton Cooper, with paintings, letters and photographs that have not previously been seen. They show William’s development as an artist, when his work was very different from the rock and fell landscapes for which he became famous, including early oil paintings done in France after leaving the Royal Academy Schools, paintings and etchings from Sussex and Argentina, designs for interiors, and for film studios during his London life in the 1930’s, and early climbing paintings from the 1920’s. The exhibition ends in the early Second World War years when William married Ophelia Gordon Bell and the Studio in Grasmere was built, and when their daughter Otalia was born in 1943, the first of their four children.

The pictures tell the story of a truly great - and fascinating - life. “We know that William’s work is loved and appreciated by people who love the Lake District, and especially the mountains of the Lakes,” says Julian Cooper, “but we think they will be surprised and intrigued by these earlier works.”

The exhibition was held at Heaton Cooper Studio, Grasmere, LA22 9SX


‘Going Solo’ by Helen Steer


Helen combines her love of painting, fabrics and sewing with an exploration of expressionist style to give the palpable sense of the power of nature through her work.

She recycles fabrics and paper, using her sewing machine as a paintbrush to create original textile art pieces. She also creates original artworks in acrylics to give depth of colour and boldness.

Motivated by her love of landscapes, outdoor sports and travelling, she hopes her work inspires the viewer to look more closely at the world around them and to find beauty in the colours, textures and unusual places they find.

Originally from Yorkshire, she lived in Fort William for several years before moving to Cumbria. Helen studied Art and Fashion in South Yorkshire and then in Gloucestershire. Her passion for art and texture was inspired by several trips to the Italian Dolomites.Helen is a member of the Eden Valley Artistic Network (EVAN). Her work can be seen in various locations in Penrith.

Helen’s exhibition was held in ‘The Peoples Gallery’ at Kendal Museum. 

© Kendal Mountain Festival 2022