Held by Phil Entwistle
Coniston has been a special place to me since childhood. I grew up in Morecambe with its glorious view across the Bay. The fells so prominent in the view appeared as a mysterious land awaiting exploration. On a rare family visit to the Lakes we took the little road up the east side of Coniston Water. It was, I thought, the most beautiful place I'd ever been.
Much later, a visit to Brantwood sparked a growing interest in Ruskin. His disciplined approach to art and his reverence for the natural world influenced and challenged me. His insistence on close observation, “drawing so that we can learn to love Nature”, seemed to combine objectivity with poetry. It chimed with my aspiration to connect to Nature with both head and heart. As well as loving the landscape, I instinctively want to step back and see things from the outside, as if visiting from another planet. What is this land we live on?
My search for an answer to that question has led me to paint rocks, and to take an interest in geology. Rocks are what the land is made of, the substance of the Earth's crust. They are also, ultimately, what everything else in the physical world comes from, be it mineral, vegetable or animal.
These leadings come together in this exhibition. I've taken a close look at this particular bit of the Earth's surface, the way it has been shaped by nature and somewhat reshaped by humans – its contours and its quarries.
Drawing, Mixed Media, Oils
Severn Studio, Brantwood House, East of Lake, Coniston, Cumbria, LA21 8AD