We’ve found a cottage that we’ve returned to (a wonderful thing when you discover somewhere like that); it has a truly inspirational wildlife-friendly garden with perfect views of the sea and mountains. There’s hills behind with red kites, ravens and buzzards soaring so close at hand, and at the bottom of the garden at sea are so many interesting wading and sea birds – with the added delight of seals and dolphins. My binoculars were close by constantly and there was so much to be found in the details in the landscape around us.
I really love living in Derbyshire, but the sea is a huge pull for me and to spend days on end gazing at a vast expanse of waves has been incredibly special. Its incredibly meditative watching the landscape like that, the colours and lines in the sea, clouds and distant mountains changed constantly.
We all created a huge range of work in response to our time there – and also in response to the ideas we were sharing together. Textiles, old books, paint, photography, printing inks, yarns, words, found objects, drawing and stitching all wove themselves together as we worked and gathered thoughts.
In vast open landscapes like that I find myself drawn to the bigger sweeps of colours and textures – but also to the teeny tiny details that hide away, clinging to the crevices and nooks and crannies. The cottage beach was a treasure trove of drift wood, pebbles, crab shells, seaweed in a rainbow of colours and little plants such as thrift growing in tiny cracks in the rocks.
Amongst other things I began a series of lino-cuts whilst there and am now working on these back in Derbyshire. I'm also further exploring working with old books and found text - adding words onto drift wood and pebbles and making tiny books out of old books.