Art from Ruth Gray
Based around the High Peak Trail just the section from Middleton Top, down to High Peak Junction I aim to really focus in detail by painting 25 panoramic views of it as if you were walking down it. The High Peak trail was developed fifty years ago and opened fully in 1974 as a public trail. Why am I doing this? Well, it is somewhere I've always loved and is a natural progression from my Derwent Valley Mills work as the railway was a major part of the valley's transport infrastructure.
'The line originally connected the canals at Whaley Bridge and Cromford, running up the Goyt Valley to Buxton and across the limestone plateau to Middleton by Wirksworth, then down to Black Rocks and down again to the Cromford canal in the Derwent Valley below. Built-in 1830, it was one of the earliest railways in the country, and because of the hilly terrain it traversed it originally had 9 inclines where the trucks were hauled up or down the incline by stationery engines.'
I'm taking my time with this series and do not expect to be finished anytime soon as I am leaving them all as works in progress to keep adding to if needs be. But here is a few I have been working on all of them are 20 x 50 cm a nice size that works well in my new studio space.
If you are ever lucky enough to visit Ellis, Fermor, and Negus Solicitors in Belper they have purchased five large prints of my Belper, Heanor, and Ripley works for their board room, currently, they are being printed by Studio 61 printing and will be expertly framed by Hall of Frames in Belper. prints are always available for purchase from me just send an email.
I've been continuing my collaborations with the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and have been assisting with content for adult loan boxes that they are piloting. This is similar to the creativity packs I did last year with them during the height of the pandemic. I have written a step-by-step guide to painting the new Museum of Making (Silk Mill) in mixed media.
Other exciting news is that I have secured a relief position with Derbyshire County Council where I will be working at Elvaston Castle and Shipley Country Park as and when I'm required this will fit in nicely with everything I already do and I can't think of nicer places to work. I'm in the shop and information areas so come and see if I'm there on your travels!
Something to read
I have been asked to write about how the pandemic has changed me as part of my freelance role as a heritage assistant you can read it here: Resilience and coming out the other side - The Heritage Assistant Perspective.