Kurt Schwitters' last Merzbau: The Elterwater Merz Barn

Contemporary Artists at work in the Merz Barn

From the beginning, before the site was even close to safe, artists of all ages were eager to work in and around the Merz Barn.  Dan Fox was, we think, the first of them to create a site specific project based in and around the Merz Barn itself.   This was an installation based on the sounds of birds, animals, traffic and people, and the rain and wind, recorded on the mound outside the barn, and relayed along the path up to and into the Barn itself.


Artist Dan Fox; Audio project based on sounds recorded inside and outside the Merz Barn, 2007.



Article in the Westmorland Gazette, 10.04.2009

The first artist to make or exhibit their work actually inside the Merz Barn was Damien Hirst.  It was only right that this should be so, for in 2007 Damien had offered Littoral a magnificent Spin Painting titled ‘Beautiful Lying in the Grass Falling into the Sky Painting’.  In 2009, before the work was shipped to Sotheby’s to be auctioned, this work went on show in the Merz Barn where it attracted the first considerable numbers of artists, tourists, and local people to Cylinders over the three week period when it was on display.


International Artist David Medalla performing a work specially created for the Merz Barn, KS10 Autumn School.



Video created by the New York performance group Cheryl in and around the Merz Barn in May 2012.


Adam Chodzo outside the Merz Barn with part of his installation destined for the ‘Kurt Schwitters in England’ Exhibition at Tate Britain in 2013.



Photographer Dayve Ward: Merz Barn photo-shoot, March ’13.



Light installation, November 20th, 2014


Still from the 24 hour real time video by Sarah Beth Riley of the light falling through the Merz Barn skylight.  November 2014.


Artist Martin O’Connor with his installation on the outside wall of the Merz Barn, May 2015.


Dada performance in the Merz Barn: Jackie Hanes (centre back) with a group of 22 artists from Manchester celebrating Kurt Schwitters’ birthday on June 19th 2015.



‘The Match Box’, ‘Poetry & Collage’ Exhibition curated by artist Charlie Holt with poets from South India.   Merz Barn installation, September 2015.