Grassington Lead Mines

In January 2014, we made our first visit to the lead mines above Grassington. At first we had no particular goal. We simply set out to experience the place as it was, and to document our journey through it. On that day the rain and hail blew so hard into our faces that it hurt.

Over the course of the year that followed we amassed a large body of work, and began to understand the stories of the place. We also felt the changing moods of the place. It burrowed its way into our lives.

In August 2014 we exhibited some of this work at the Wishbone Gallery in Grassington, in the solo show “82 Drawings”. The word drawings is intended in this sense of “drawing out” or “drawing from”, rather than a specific technique. In many ways this encapsulates our process. Separately we walk through a landscape, photographing, filming, recording, writing, listening, mapping. Rather than aiming for a distillation of “the essence” of a place, we try to tap into the many possibilities, stories and histories that landscape presents. Ours is, in that sense, a receptive and passive approach – deferential and over time attuned to the place.

Showing our work in Grassington gave us a heartening insight into how people react to “their” local environment, and how we seemed to have provided a perspective previously unseen.

Cheryl Garner and Gavin Jones