The View from the Fells – In the Footsteps of Marie Hartley

Hay Meadow

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Inspired by the meadows at Muker, I wanted to reflect the colours and the myriad of plants and insects that can be found in a healthy traditional hay meadow.  Due to the printing process of the time, Marie Hartley created her wood engravings to fit the size of the books that they illustrated and so they were very small and detailed. I wanted to try working on a similar scale with my collagraphs creating a ‘collection’ that would be reminiscent of the natural history collections found in museums.

Hay Time

Throughout July, the fields across the Yorkshire Dales become a patchwork of bright greens and yellows with fabulous patterns becoming visible as the different stages of haymaking (or ‘hay time’) can be seen. This piece is based on the haymeadows at Keld where I spent a happy July afternoon running over Kisdon before stopping to see how the farmers were getting on.

Fellside – Summer

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Drystone walls are an iconic feature of the Yorkshire Dales and I’m repeatedly drawn to the patterns they create and the incredible way that they snake across and up the fells.As a fell runner, I often start a run stood in a valley contemplating the hillside that I’m about to ascend.

This view was inspired by the hillside behind Marsett as seen from just below Stalling Busk.

Fellside – Winter

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One of my runs takes me from Pen-y-Ghent down into Silverdale up to Darnbrook Fell and down into Pen-y-ghent Ghyll (as described in Wharfedale). The fellsides there have incredible long walls and the remains of ancient walled settlements. In winter the colours are stunning and I’ve seen small murmurations of starlings.

Winter Fields

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Running along the river Bain towards Semerwater in late November, I passed through flooded fields where huddled sheep clustered and the rooks and jackdaws were taking advantage of the sodden earth to peck for worms.  Smallscale flooding is a regular occurrence in the Yorkshire Dales, we have so many rivers and becks and a lot of rainfall, but in recent years we’ve seen some larger and far more destructive floods particularly in Swaledale.

Enclosures II

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I’ve been fascinated by sheepfolds for a long time and Birkdale has many lovely circular ones. This print was inspired by a large enclosure of grazed lime-green land that glowed amongst the rough textures of the moorland and the hardy Swaledale sheep that graze there.