My exhibition of drawings and paintings, Lune Year, will be on show at Halton Mill in December and January. The exhibition opening is between 12 – 4 pm on Saturday 3rd December, and all are welcome, do come along if you’re free. There is also an arts and craft fair at the Mill on the same day, and the cafe will be open. It would be lovely to see you there.
My work will remain on display at Halton Mill 10 – 5 (weekdays only) until Friday 13th January.
I’m launching the exhibition to coincide with the anniversary of Storm Desmond, which caused extensive flooding in the Lancaster area and elsewhere in the North of England. The peak recorded flow of the Lune was equivalent to 41 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water going past the measuring gauge every minute, a rate that would fill the Royal Albert Hall in less than a minute. For anyone who knows this part of the river, the Lune was flowing over the top of the Crook O’ Lune bridge, several metres above its usual height. I have never before experienced such an event, and while the floods themselves were both terrifying and awe inspiring to watch, it was the aftermath which has really fascinated me. The river and riverside at Halton has been profoundly altered, with many areas washed away, new islands formed, and almost a year later, grass and debris are still hanging in the trees high above the usual waterline. After the floods receded, all these changes in the riverside really became apparent, and I decided to continue drawing and painting the river throughout the year; this exhibition is the result.
As I have mentioned on my blog previously, this year I’ve been working on a series of paintings connected to the River Lune and the floods of last winter. I’m planning to exhibit these to coincide with the anniversary of Storm Desmond (5th/6th December) – or thereabouts, in the Lancaster area. I’m looking for others who may have been working on art/writing/films/poetry/whatever related to floods or the River Lune or climate change more broadly and may be interested in also exhibiting their work or collaborating in some way. I’m also looking for somewhere to show my paintings. I have a couple ideas in mind but have not decided anything yet.
If you are interested in collaborating or have any suggestions, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am away for a couple of weeks until early September but I will get back to you as soon as I can.
High Water on the Shortest Day. River Lune, December 2015. OIl.
A short lived spell of warm sunny weather in the past few days has finally brought a touch of green to the trees. This sketch is of the brand new sycamore leaves opening, the grass from last December’s floods still wrapped tightly around the branches.
Its mixed media; acrylic and pastel, on a watercolour background.
New leaves of Sycamore with Flood Grass, mixed media
These drawings are of buddleia and flowering currant bushes growing alongside the River Lune in Halton, outside my studio. They are just beginning to bud, and I wanted to record the budding leaves and blossoms tangled in the ‘flood grass’, or warlords whiskers, as a friend calls it.
Buddleia & Flood Grass #1, mixed media
Buddleia and Flood Grass #2. Mixed media
Flowering Currant with Flood Grass. Mixed media
Without really planning it, I’ve embarked on a project I’ve called Lune Year. I am drawing and painting the river, and the riverside, for twelve months following the ‘big flood’ of December 5th, 2015. I’m fascinated by the way that the riverside has been so profoundly changed. From late November until mid January, give or take a few days, the river was in spate. On the night of 5th December, the river flooded to unprecedented levels. The environment agency recorded the flood on 5th/6th December as follows:
The River Gauge at Caton on the River Lune recorded the highest ever flow on an English river as 1742 cumecs (m3/second) – That’s 1742 tonnes of water flowing down the river every second! The flow peak was recorded at 00:15 on 6th December 2015 following the intense sustained rainfall from Storm Desmond.
The river throughout December and early January was pretty scary to be honest. However, it was also utterly fascinating. I spent a lot of time filming and photographing it, at different points within walking distance of my studio, and I began my series of paintings and drawings. I’m planning to exhibit them next spring, once the twelve months is up. In the meantime, I’ll post some of the work on my blog.