Kim Tillyer

I walked through the coastal nature reserve at Mawbray Banks AONB. This has become a regular walk for me as I recently moved from a remote Lakeland house to a busier area and needed to find solitude and a place for reflection, healing and something to reignite my creativity.

The walk winds through sand dunes and heathland before returning along the shore. Within the reserve is a large concrete arrow which I discovered was used to guide planes in WWII, it also felt like a waymarker in my own journey. The work I produced combines cyanotype with found objects.

Answering the three Artful questions


Walking alone is how I process thoughts, plan writing or try to seek creative inspiration. I have not felt creative lately but the exploration of a new place, its sounds, scents and wildlife are slowly helping to reawaken the creative urge. During the walk I thought about the shape of the tracker and enjoyed running up and down the arrow and circling the Natterjack ponds.


I chose to walk alone but in doing so I kept in mind the ways other artists have been inspired by the area – Percy Kelly obviously and another artist who moved from Fell to Coast, Alison Critchlow as well as other artist and maker friends who are inspired by the sea and shore. The big skies and Solway sunsets felt like a connection to family and friends who live on the East coast where I grew up. Reconnecting with the coastal landscape has been a real pleasure after a difficult recent chapter. 


Moving has forced me to address my own prejudices and yearning to find “home”. I used to be able to walk the fells from my door and would never have been tempted to explore the coast or the beautiful landscape around it had I not washed up here by accident! The nature reserve is cared for by Solway Coast AONB and hopefully their work inspires people to appreciate and care for the rare and beautiful environment. Sadly my walks often involve a litter pick but happily also contains birdsong, wild flowers, walking barefoot on the sand and once, a fox spying on me from behind a gorse bush.

… work in progress

To find out more about Kim’s work, take a look at her website:

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