Shap Shape is a joint exhibition by Printmaker Jamie Barnes, Photographer Colin Reynolds and Poet Geoff Cox.
The show seeks to engage with the man-made structures on and around Shap Summit, everything from stone circles to lime kilns, even cement factories. The Cumbria-based artists believe that Shap is an area which is often overlooked but is full of aesthetic interest and history. The exhibition explores individual themes based on man-made structures and the tracks and traces left by previous generations. These marks tell the story of the inhabitants who have lived and made their living in this rugged environment.
As well as a range of artwork and poetry, visitors will be able to see a large illustrated map charting the locations that inspired the images. The artists hope that this will encourage people to engage with and explore this landscape that has motivated them to create this exhibition.
Through this exhibition the artists seek to throw a spotlight on an area which is often travelled through, unobserved, yet recognised as a important marker on travels to and from Scotland. Through their contrasting mediums of printmaking, digital, traditional and alternative photography together with poetry; the artists seek to inspire people to look and engage with the aesthetics, story, and history of this iconic area of Cumbria.
The artists are thrilled to finally be able to showcase the exhibition in Shap itself. The exhibition had previously been on show at Brockhole near Windermere until January 2020, and was due to come to Shap, but has been delayed until now due to the pandemic.
Jamie is a Kendal-based printmaker who specialises in aquatint etching. His artwork is principally concerned with manmade structures: houses, buildings, townscapes and structures in the landscape and on the coast. Jamie realises that any landscape bears the tracks and traces of human activity, and chooses to highlight and celebrate this rather than edit it out.
Drawing underpins Jamie’s practice, transforming his line drawing through the magic of the aquatint etching process. He values etching for the quality of line it can produce, its depth of texture and for the random marks picked up by the process which he often chooses to preserve.
Colin is a photographer based in Kendal. He uses a variety of photographic techniques, from the earliest forms of recording images such as cyanotypes through traditional film and darkroom based techniques creating toned and lith prints and the most recent digital formats.
Colin uses available light and long exposures to create arresting images of the area he is exploring. In recent years Colin has been exploring the regions on the edge of the Lake District looking for the quiet, solitude of less visited valleys often overlooked by the regions visitors.
Geoff is a writer, poet and playwright based just outside of Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria. After a lifetime of energetic explorations across mountains and deserts he has, more recently, tried to capture the formative interaction of people and landscape through his writing. Through this approach he seeks to present a human-ecology that is more visceral and authentic than is often the case with nature-writing.
A member of the Lake District based Rural Writing Institute, Geoff recognises that he works best when he works collaboratively with other writers and artists. This co-creative approach with ceramicists, artists, photographers, filmmakers and authors writing in different genres, allows Geoff to explore how words can be used as one element in a multi-media exploration of object and place.