The Ullswater Project
In the Spring of 2013, I decided to start a series of portraits of people who had lived all their lives working on the Westmoreland side of Ullswater, people who had raised their families there and who were now seeing the changes brought by changes in the local economy. Where once there was lead mining, farming, and village schools, there are now hotels, tea shops and outward bound schools. I wanted to capture the faces of those people who had been there throughout all this time.
Shortly after beginning my project, fellow artist Gina Farncombe joined me and we expanded our territory to both sides of Ullswater, then late in 2014 Beatrice Hasell-McCosh began contributes landscapes. Gina and I paint portraits alongside each other, each producing a portrait in our quite different styles, and it has been a joy to work together. All of our subjects were born between the two world wars, and many are over eighty. We are collaborating with the students of Patterdale School to collect oral histories which, combined with our paintings and Bea's landscapes, will form a collection that will bring a view of life in Ullswater during the last 100 years.
An exhibition of these portraits and landscapes was held in July 2015 at Dalemain, Cumbria
Bishop Ian Griggs
Jean Bennett, Herdwick sheep farmer, Dockray
Derek Wilson, sheep farmer, Dockray
Dorothy, daughter of chauffer at Sharrow Bay lived at Crook-a-Dyke and Sharrow cottages
Isabelle Dobinson, farmer and caravan park owner, Watermillock, grew up on Seat Farm
Emiley Allen, retired farmer, Seat Farm
Alan Bennett, sheep Farmer, Dockray
Gay Parkin, bridle path rider
Eddie Poole, engineer Glenridding mine, lorry driver, Patterdale
John Bowerbank, lorry driver, Pooley Bridge