welcome to the fold archive



In the Window 2008

Gallery now closed

Fold finally closed its doors on the 1st May 2009. For the best part of a decade, this small organisation based in the sheep market town of Kirkby Stephen on the eastern fringes of Cumbria, broke the mould for contemprary arts in rural areas and demonstrated that size really doesn't matter.

This site is now maintained as an archive of all that was achieved in those few years. I will endevour to add information and tidy up the odd page from time to time, and if there's anything missing, please let me know.


fold logo in green

About Fold

The exhibition space and office in Kirkby Stephen have now closed. After eight fantastic years showing the work of over 500 artists in rural locations Fold as a formal organisation has finally closed. We'd like to thank all those artists who have been part of our history and the thousands (millions even) of visitors who have experienced our unique approach to contemprary art in rural communities. It's been a gas. But the world spins on and it's time for a re-think and a change. Until further notice Foldgallery will periodically exist as a project name as we all try to get back to being artists for a while.


foldgallery plan

Gallery Exhibitions and Projects

The small gallery at Fold was an experimental space to play with different approaches to curation, presenation and most importantly engaging rural audiences with quality contemporary art. We had over 40 exhibitions in the gallery - from solo shows to curated themed pieces and group shows. From new artists to established international names. All within the same 4m cube.

As a rural organisation we were also aware of the vast potential to showing work outside of a gallery environment. Shows like 'I'll Tell You Where You Can Stick Your Modern Art' found new audiences and presentation methods by being in places like bus stops. Other projects saw work around the gardens of the town and in a 200 year old lighthouse.



Over 500 artists exhibited and worked with Fold over the years, either through gallery shows, residencies, commissions or the site-specific programmes. The list is huge and will take some time to update, but I've made a start...



Our largest annual project took artists out to every corner of England's most rural county. Each year over 70 artists created new work in what quickly became Europe's largest annual festival of site specific work and laid the foundations for a miriad of other projects and biennials up and down the country.

FRED 2008
FRED 2007
FRED 2006
FRED 2005
FRED 2004


At Fold we were proud of our evaluation processes and how they informed and shaped our programmes. We now have all the evaluation reports from the last 5 years available as PDF downloads. Still to come are all our guides to creating site-responsive work.


FRED tthe story of an art invasion


The commercial publishing arm of Fold will continue to release new titles. Set up in 2005 to publish a catalogue of the first FRED event, FoldPress publishes editions on art in the rural environment as well as catalogues with intenational partners within the themes of rural/urban cultural boundaries.

foldpress site



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fold is a not for profit organisation that seeks to provide and promote access to innovative contemporary art in rural environments. fold is run by artists for artists and the communities they live and work in.

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