Living a Creative, Sustainable Life with Maria Benjamin

Artist and farmer Maria Benjamin will discuss her journey from Art School to farming in the Lake District. Maria will talk about contemporary farming and her farm diversification businesses in relation to creating a sustainable and creative life. She will talk about setting up purpose-led businesses, which have brought more value to her farm than a focus on profit-led businesses. Maria will give a virtual tour of the farmyard where we will visit turkeys, chickens, pigs, sheep and a Jersey cow that provides milk for her Jersey milk soap business. She will also give a tour of the farm’s wool fibre business, discussing some of the things she does to add value to this natural resource.


Talk: 11am-1pm
Lunch: 1-2pm
Farmyard tour: 2-5pm

This session will be taking place online via Zoom. Please join the session here (password: OSEMB2020) and ensure that your mic is muted unless you are speaking. These sessions may be recorded for archival and promotional purposes, so please switch off your video feed if you do not wish to be included in this. Please join early to avoid delays (there may be a queue, the host will let you in to the session).

You do not need to be an artist to attend this session and you do not need to attend the whole day.

About the artist

Maria Benjamin was born in Scotland in 1972. She studied Fine Art in Edinburgh and London, gaining a first class honours degree at London Metropolitan University and a Masters at Goldsmiths College. After graduating she co-founded Guestroom, an artist cooperative that curated an annual publication as well as hosting events and exhibitions from the Guestroom studio. Following an artist residency with Grizedale Arts, Maria joined the organisation in 2010 as their programme manager. She left in 2013 to set-up an artist residency and annual film festival at Lower Hewood Farm in Dorset. In 2014 she moved back to the Lake District to her partner’s farm and from there she has developed a suite of purpose-led farm diversification businesses.