‘Rambling Conversation’ captures the interaction between the beautiful day that we walked Stonethwaite, Eagle Crag, Sergeant’s Crag, High Raise, Ullscarf, passing Blea Tarn on the way down to Watendlath, finally Dock Tarn and then down Lingy End back to Stonethwaite – and the conversations that took place within the group as we walked.
It evokes the feeling of the fells, capturing the place names on the route and references to those conversations. People have been walking the fells for hundreds of years and will continue to walk them for many years more, continuously walking the same ground. This is manifested by the form of the mobius loop.
Answering the three Artful questions
Walking the fells every week I feel that I am part of the landscape and it is fundamental to my textile practice. Whilst walking I often reflect on work that I am planning or creating, the open space enables me to think through problems and gives fresh inspiration.
However, it is not always the conventional beauty of the fells and the lakes that inspires me but the reminder of the influence that man has had on the landscape. The drystone walls, remains of mining activity, rusted metal, trees twisted and gnarled through the constant fight with the elements.
Throughout the pandemic we were able to continue walking, even if it was just a circuit around the village. However, we could not walk with the Ramblers and I really missed the conversations that take place as we walk. Catching up on each other’s lives. What have people watched on television, books read, films seen. We formed a bubble with a single friend which benefitted us all, providing the opportunity to develop a deeper friendship. Electronic forms of communication were a lifeline as we Facetimed with the grandchildren and I continued to study for my City and Guilds Patchwork and Quilting Diploma via Zoom. However, nothing can replace actually meeting up with friends and family.
Cumbria is a special place and this year ‘Staycations’ means that more people are discovering it. Unfortunately, it also means that people who do not appreciate how fragile the landscape is are destroying the beauty they have come to see. How do we educate people that chopping a tree down for a fire cannot be replaced in the short term, it takes decades to regrow. How do we educate people that rubbish on the fells is not only unsightly but also harms livestock and wildlife. Notices saying ‘Don’t …………’ are themselves unsightly and frequently ignored. Can we as artists help to promote good practice?