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A Sense of Place

 

I am particularly passionate about English woodland and spend much of my time walking, sketching and collecting materials outdoors.

 

I make regular repeat visits to certain places, such as Calke Park in Derbyshire and Grinshill in Shropshire, which have become intensely familiar to me in both the detail and the overall landscape. I follow closely the changes that take place including the seasons, the weather and from human and animal activity.

 

I hope to imbue my work with something of the essence and atmosphere of these places, through the materials, textures, colour and forms. Each piece of my work has a narrative of time spent exploring and being part of the landscape, as well as memories, stories and a sense of wonder at the beauty of nature.

 

Calke Park and Abbey are next to my home and are full of interest and variety. As well as the abundant wildlife, trees and plants, the park also hides the remains of the once prosperous lime industry. Overgrown and decaying, there are bridges, lime pits and tram lines, which once transported the lime to Ashby Canal and then on to Birmingham.

Much of the beauty of Calke Park is to be found in the tiny details such as the shapes of

lichen on the stone walls and the mis-shapen trees and logs.

 

Visitors to the house can see the gardens and work buildings steeped in history and atmosphere.

 

Grinshill Hill and Clive village in Shropshire are in a farming area of outstanding natural beauty where I grew up. The north Shropshire plain is broken by ridges of red sandstone

rising distinctively above the fields and villages surrounding them. Grinshill is a sandstone

hill covered in silver birch and pine trees and with winding paths leading to the top and to

a spectacular view of north Shropshire and across to the Welsh hills.

 

There are also many caves with myths and legends told of the highway men who hid here

in years gone by.