The Good Life

Emma Rushton & Derek Tyman curated The Good Life project in 2011. It used the work of 19th Century American writer, philosopher and abolitionist Henry David Thoreau as a starting point. Rushton & Tyman invited artists, activists, writers, musicians and others to respond to his ideas on self-sufficiency, politics and nature.

For more than two years, Thoreau had lived a self-sufficient and simple life in a Massachusetts forest. Ruston & Tyman built a replica of Thoreau’s cabin in the Miterdale Forest and a wooden stage at the Lanternhouse art centre, both in Cumbria. 

Rushton & Tyman asked me to give a talk about my project Urban Utopias in relation to Thoreau's ideas. They then invited me to stay in their replica cabin for four days. I asked artist Katie Beeson and curator Martina Caruso to come with me. We were instructed to 'idle' our time and spent our days mainly eating, talking, sleeping and walking.

A book entitled The Good Life, documenting the project and published by Castlefield Gallery Publications, is now available.

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  • Rushton & Tyman's replica of Thoreau's cabin. Miterdale Forest, Cumbria, 2011

  • The Good Life Stage, The Lanternhouse, Cumbria

    Image courtesy The Lanternhouse

  • Virginia Nimarkoh, Public Talk at Lanternhouse, June 2011

    Image courtesy The Lanternhouse

  • Miterdale Forest, Cumbria

  • View towards Seascale

  • Walk to Stanley Ghyll Force waterfall

  • Walk to Stanley Ghyll Force waterfall 2

  • Reading Thoreau