Sunday, 9 October 2011

Towers of Silence

Here I am in the big basement room at Machpelah Mill with the 3 towers just before I took them down for transporting to Cliffe Castle for the exhibition.  I used the self-timer on my camera for this shot as I did want one photo of me with them in that space.

I absolutely loved working down at Machpelah, the atmosphere of the room was so benign, peaceful and conducive to intense concentration.  The silence was very calming and I already miss being in that space now I've moved out and given the key back.  The best thing was the quality of the light especially in the late afternoon when the sunlight spilled off the canal, through the windows and onto the walls.  I've written about this in my other blog  Tumbling Hills.

It was purely a happy coincidence that this aspect of the room related so well to my ideas about projecting video of moving reservoir water onto the valve towers for the exhibition.

Below are two of my favourite photos taken during the 5 week drawing process.

Work In Progress

I didn't show any work in progress pictures here of the large-scale charcoal drawings I made for the Inspired By Landscape II exhibition, as I wanted them to be a surprise.  So (hopefully) here's a little slideshow of one of towers coming into being.  It really did feel like I was constructing every brick, but contrary to normal building procedures I was able to defy the laws of gravity and work down from the top!

Friday, 7 October 2011

OAG - More Pictures

Geoff Mitchell took this great photo of the OAGers at the start of our day out when the temperature was still a bit on the cool side.  And Lisa Bendel's  shot has captured the sense of vast space within which the rocky outcrops and swirling grasses dominate.

The pylons are a prominent feature of this bit of moor and from an artist's point of view their complex shapes add interest. 

Vicki certainly looks very cheery as she makes her lively pastel drawing.

You have to admire Harry's insouciant style when at lunch time he nonchalantly drew out the bottle of wine and 3 glass tumblers he'd been quietly lugging around! The afternoon took on a rosy glow all of a sudden.

The strong wind never abated and this photo of Sue trying to draw in it brings to mind the image of a ships figurehead or one of those winged Nikes.  

Afterwards Sue sent me this fascinating contribution:

Writing of his struggle across Blackstone Edge in 1724, Defoe said: "here, tho' it was but the middle of August, and in some places the harvest hardly got in we saw the mountain covered with snow; but we found the people had a way of mixing warm with cold together, for the store of good ale which flows plentifully in these mountainous parts of the country make up for all the inclemencies of the weather."

Sue added, "our windy weather was not quite as bad as poor old Daniel but adventurous nonetheless! Pity we didn't sample the store of ale - though the wine was pretty good!"

Monday, 3 October 2011

Outdoor Art Group - Blackstone, Light Hazzles and Warland

Nine members of the OAG experienced a marvellous outing on the tops today.
The trip was planned at very short notice in an attempt to capitalise on the tail end of the lovely weather.  A moody morning looked less than promising as we waited for the 900 bus up Cragg Vale to Blackstone Edge, but it never felt cold and once we started walking  the sun broke through and lit up the hills with a glorious amber light.

We followed a straightforward route along the Pennine Way, taking in 3 reservoirs - Blackstone, Light Hazzles and Warland - with 2 major stops for creative work.  A very insistent, warm wind was our constant companion animating the water surface with darting ripples and fanning the long red grass into equally liquid movement.

Some of the group had never been up to these reservoirs before and enjoyed finding a new area to discover and discuss.