Truth of Water

Brantwood, Coniston Water, Cumbria

John Ruskin spent the final 28 years of his life in Brantwood, his spirit has always made itself known to me whenever I have visited. Subtle but surely present. His stone chair is available for me and anybody else to sit on. 

I wanted to work there too: the space he endeavoured to study and shape retains its intrinsic generosity and is managed with respect for its Lakeland nature. I share with Ruskin pleasure in observation of the natural world, it is my greatest teacher. Simply put and with no intellectual reasoning imposed, I absolutely share his delight at the sight of mammoth mountains and minute mountains residing in a stone.  I also frequently choose watercolour as my medium and we are part of the same plein air tradition. I don’t possess his capacious intellect or his energy. Few do.

I acknowledge the generosity of The Brantwood Trust for their support. 

An on-line curated collection of images and poetry will follow in 2021

Water established its position as the determining influence on my work during my time in Coniston. I went with the intention of being open to any aspect of Ruskin’s home ground (the Lakeland estate of 250 acres, eight garden environments rising behind the house, the collection within the house itself and the views across Coniston water to the fells). 

The amount of water in, on and over ground and air… was considerable. The bright threads of white water running down the fells across Lake Coniston became my indicators of rainfall. The rising level of lake water over the duration of my stay was calibrated by the slowly disappearing wooden structure of the jetty where the steamer stopped by. 

This is of course a district of lakes.