About this work of Art
Virginia Ray Ancient Pathways 55x55x5.5cm framed
Oils and mixed media on canvas. Affordable abstract landscape painting for sale
Born and raised in Nidderdale, my family have lived here for generations and I have a real sense of belonging and identity in this place. Quarrying is at the heart of this landscape and my family have worked with stone for generations.
‘Ancient Pathways’ explores how the monks of Fountains Abbey quarried and transported stone across the Nidderdale moors to Fountains Abbey. The stone was nicknamed Nidderdale Marble as its quality was so high.
The Abbey’s Laybrothers took care of the day-to-day running of the Abbey so that the Choir Monks could devote their lives to prayer. By the mid 1200’s, the well organised system of Laybrothers had helped Fountains Abbey to become one of the richest and most powerful religious houses in the country. Nidderdale Marble was used to richly decorate the interior of the Abbey.
The Laybrothers wore dark brown tunics. The colours in the painting reflect the colours of the monks, the stone, the moors and the nature of their labour.
The suggestion of a moon in the sky is a drawn image of the monks cutting wood. At first the monks used wattle, wood and turf to construct their buildings.
Texture in the painting is created through the use of stone dust. My great grandfather was a stone mason at Castle Howard. My Uncle continues to carve local quarried stone and I use his stone dust in my work. In my mind, this creates links with the monks and the history of my family working with stone in this landscape. Furthermore, this process confirms the idea that landscape cannot be a hideaway. It is first and foremost a site of history, a documentation of life that is deeply interwoven with the aspirations and concerns of man.
- Size : H 55 cm x W 55 cm