Kristan Baggaley on Kinder Scout

Since the Spring of 2012, Kristan Baggaley has been observing, drawing and painting Kinder Scout. An exhibition of this work opens at gallerytop in November 2012 and includes plein air sketches,  initial watercolours and the final eleven large, rich, sumptuous oil paintings of the Kinder Plateau.

Kinder Scout – Its Inspiration

“Kinder Scout is the highest peak in the Peak District, its distinctive steep sides and flat moorland summit are clearly seen from many miles away, in Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Lancashire.

The sense of open space, solitude, vastness and magnificence are all elements very evident on the mountain and its surroundings. It is a silent land often shrouded in mists or scoured by chill winds or driving rain. A landscape sculpted by the elements of nature and the activities of man. I have experienced the rapid change in weather conditions on the summit as awe-inspiring views are rapidly replaced by swirling mists, leaving you lost and disorientated.

It is the natural features, the forceful presence of Kinder Scout, which inspired me to produce this series of paintings. A landscape where there is the indefinable, unknown source of power, way beyond our control.

As I studied and sketched the mountain it was the cloughs and becks carrying water off the plateau that particularly interested me. In dry periods they carry only a trickle of water but after heavy rain they are transformed into raging torrents of fast flowing, amber coloured water, stained by the upland peat through which it has percolated, cascading onto metallic grey boulders.

Interpreting a sense of the sculpting power of the draining water and the deep ravines it has cut into the landscape has been the inspiration for several of the paintings in the exhibition.

Kinder Scout offers to us all the chance to experience sublime beauty. However, the distinctive features of the mountain are under pressure from serious erosion caused by overgrazing, climate change and the boots of walkers. The national trust who own the land are spending millions of pounds on paving footpaths, restricting sheep with new fencing and building dykes to retain water on the moorland.

Consequently, some of the mountains features are changing with the pressures of the modern world. However, I still believe the elemental forces that inspired the paintings in this exhibition will always be there and they will continue to inspire all those who visit this beautiful landscape.”

Kristan Baggaley
October 2012


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