Lanercost priory is the resting place of Li Yuan Chia, a modern artist from China who made his home in the Village of Bankside on Hadrian’s Wall in Cumbria.
One of the first significant modern artists to emerge from China during the 20th century, he made an unforgettable impact on the local community.
In 1968 Li met Cumbrian painter Winifred Nicolson, she became his patron and persuaded him to leave London for a more remote location near her own home.
Li converted The Banks, a farm building at Bankside, near Brampton. The work, which he carried out himself, also included a gallery, library & theatre. He spent 25 years here until his death in 1994.
Born in China in 1929, Li was educated in Taiwan. He worked and exhibited in Italy before moving to London in 1963.
Li died at the Eden Valley Hospice in Carlisle of intestinal cancer.
He was buried at Lanercost Priory in the valley below Banks, with both an Anglican and a Chinese ceremony at the graveside.
His grave in Lanercost cemetery is marked by a tall stone inscribed with his Time-Life-Space emblem carved in local red sandstone by his friend the sculptor Bryant Fedden.
The LYC Foundation
The LYC foundation is a charitable organisation devoted to the care and conservation of the work of Li Yuan-chia.
Their long-term project is to create a museum of Li’s work in the house at Banks, Cumbria with plans to restore the building and re-open it as a permanent exhibition of Li’s life and work. The project will include a space for temporary exhibitions, literary and musical events, living quarters for the Museum’s curator, a studio and living accommodation for an artist/poet in residence, and a garden/ car park.