The creation of the Ullswater Virtual Art Gallery.
The Friends of the Ullswater Way was created by the local community in 2016 to promote awareness of the culture and natural heritage around the Ullswater Way. It was granted charitable status in August 2019 and is entirely run by volunteers.
I have been an active member of the Friends of the Ullswater Way (FOUW) since its inception in 2016 and a trustee since it became a charity in 2019. We commissioned a number of art installations in the early years, (see for example Jimmy Reynolds https://www.ullswaterheritage.org/heritage-knowledge-bank/inspired-by-ullswater/virtual-art-gallery/james-jimmy-reynolds a local sculptor). In the last few (Covid) years, the creation of the Heritage Knowledge Bank has pulled together history, natural history, memories and much more in one place in the amazing Heritage Knowledge Bank (https://www.ullswaterheritage.org/heritage-knowledge-bank).
This year’s big project, the Ullswater year of Art and Landscape was launched this week with the unveiling of the Virtual Art Gallery.
It has been a long time in the making from choosing the pictures to be featured, to gathering the permissions to use them, commissioning the talented Aerial Tours drone operator, Colin Aldred, creating a page for every artist, putting up posts to indicate where the easel was placed and attaching QR codes to them so that the viewer can compare the view today to the one painted, drawn or felted.
You can take an aerial tour of the Ullswater valley and see the history and heritage highlighted, or you can choose to see where the 48 pictures were created (
https://app.lapentor.com/sphere/ullswater-pb-art). Once you are inspired to go and look, you will find the post with the QR code.
I felted a number of landscapes in the first half of 2023 inspired by the title for the International Feltmakers Association 2023 exhibition: ‘My View.’ I interpreted the ‘view’ part fairly loosely as within 2 miles of my house in the Ullswater valley. The picture that was actually ‘my view’ is the ‘Winter Sunset: view from my window.’
The piece that I finally put into the exhibition was ‘Ullswater - Winter Sunrise,’ ( https://www.feltmakers.com/bwg_album/your-view-online-exhibition-2023/), from a photograph I took close to the Duke of Portland boathouse on one of my regular walks along the Ullswater Way from Bennethead to Pooley Bridge. Both of these pictures use wet felting and hand embroidery. More often my pictures are mostly needle felted.
A local potter, Helen Radcliffe, was prompted by the idea of the ‘Ullswater year of art and landscape’ to rally 500 volunteers and create ten thousand ceramic daffodils to be sold for charity. Wordsworth’s most famous poem, ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud…’ was inspired by the daffodils in Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater. These wild daffodils are still there every spring and a few of the ceramic daffodils are still left and available to purchase (see https://tenthousanddaffodils.org).
I experimented with felting daffodils intending to create a landscape with daffodils in the foreground. The first issue I encountered was that the yellow wool that I had bought was completely wrong for our (very pale) native daffodils. I therefore dyed my own yellow wool (Whiteface Woodland from Glencoyne farm very close to where the daffodils grow)) and made some very stiff felt with it in order for the daffodils to be three dimensional.
I regularly use the footpath through Another Place Hotel as it is very close to where I live. The photograph I used for Ullswater - Spring Reflections was taken from this footpath (NY4528 2319).
The other piece I have in the exhibition is Ullswater - Autumn reflections 2. The photograph that was the inspiration for the picture was taken shortly after sunrise on an October morning on the same route from Bennethead to Pooley Bridge along the Ullswater Way. The rose hips and leaves I have put in the foreground are hard to see in my photograph against the light from the lake so I lightened them and increased their number.
All my pictures have a 3D element and, in this one, the framed picture has the rose leaves in their autumn colours overhanging the edge of the mat enhancing the 3D effect.
Be inspired by our Virtual Art Gallery and the amazing aerial tours. See who was inspired by Ullswater between the 1700s and the present present day.