I have painted all my life, and now I’m lucky enough to be retired I draw or paint most days. I primarily work in oils, but have spells using watercolours, or relief printing with wood or lino.
I love that the wildly changing weather, light and colour of this area provides an endless source of inspiration and subject material. When I first moved here I had ideas of painting outdoors a lot, but experience of the local weather has revised my opinion of that, and I work indoors, usually with a photograph for initial reference
As an artist I practise an ecopiesis in which I ‘make my limitations available as a contact site for the other’ (to quote Jonathan Skinner in his essay on Somatics in Jacket 2) by confronting the limitations and allowing form to emerge.
The limitations include living here in a remote part of Alston, at the foot of Cross Fell, at the mercy of weather, cutoffs, internet outage, isolation, exhaustion.
I have recently moved to Nenthead, but I’ve been making and designing jewellery for around twenty years. I make my jewellery from scratch using new, recycled silver and recycled silverware.
I’m inspired by my surroundings and natural forms so expect to find lots to keep me creating up here for many more years
I live in Upper Weardale which is where I have grown up and taught myself photography. My photography has always taken a lot of inspiration from the landscape and wildlife surrounding Alston Moor, with which I have strong connections having spent seven years at school in Nenthead. The three photos I have submitted are taken on and close to Alston Moor.
In considering my images for the exhibition showcase I felt that I really had to consider Alston Moors “Spirit of Place”. As a relative newcomer to the area my thoughts were all about what drew me to this wild and beautiful place and why I loved being here and felt proud to call it “home”.
Alston Moor history encapsulated. Once busy mine workings now long abandoned and neglected. Easily accessible from Isaacs Tea Trail and overlooking the stunning Nenthead valley. How many come to enjoy this view? Not many I think. I have been up here many times over the last two years and never seen a soul – lucky me.
Kris Monk and Anna Mcpherson
Eden Valley Workshop is the creative outlet for Kris & Anna.
A couple who moved to Alston 2 years ago. Together they create nature-inspired pieces using paint, wood, metal & Pyrography.
Kris is the engineer of the duo. Practical, passionate & a true perfectionist.
Anna is the visionary & artist with a love of painting, Pyrography & woodwork.
A sustainable, green ethos runs through the heart of Eden Valley Workshop & all they create.
Find ‘EdenValleyWorkshop’ & ‘AnnaMarieArtworks’ on Facebook!
Here you can see some of my recent work in charcoal.
Living and working high in the North Pennine hills, just seven miles from Nenthead, I have tried to capture the resonance of this unique landscape – A dark brew of raw elemental power, blended with the surreal stillness of cold moorland mists; a melancholic magnificence.
In the recent past, my work has been exhibited at venues across the North of England; including the Customs House, S Shields, the Kemble Gallery, Durham, Allendale Forge and the Biscuit Factory Gallery, Newcastle.
Living and working in the Pennines has heightened my awareness of the continuously changing colours and textures of the hills, woods and moorland, and the apparent random juxtaposition of all these factors.
To express these ideas in ceramics, I create an assemblage of subtly coloured areas of clay, which are textured and patterned by marbling, impressing and printing using slips and glazes, to produce a range of pots and wall pieces.
I also work on paper, preferring to build up landscapes in collage from previous works in watercolour and acrylic ink. There is a strong similarity working this way to my ceramic work.