About this work of Art
Virginia Ray If Hills Could Talk 55x55x5.5cm framed
Oils and mixed media on canvas.
Impressionistic, affordable landscape painting using collected materials from the land for texture
This painting brings together the landscapes of Nidderdale, North Yorkshire and Fountains Abbey. The painting references the monks of Fountains Abbey who mined and quarried the natural resources of this area. Quarried stone was transported across the Nidderdale moors to Fountains Abbey. The stone was nicknamed Nidderdale Marble as its quality was so high.
The 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 painting also depicts the River Skell which begins in Nidderdale and runs to Fountains Abbey.
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