Windy Ridge & The Trolls

April 25, 2016


One of my very first 'commercial' drawings was called Little Windy Ridge. It was based on a tiny tree at the top of Penrhys Hill that I often passed by.


The wind had carved the tree into a very specific shape and I found that silent power and tenacity of the tree really intriguing.  I began to look more closely at the landscape for signs of unseen external forces and nature's strength. 


The landscape around me has resisted but adapted to change to become a composite landscape that embodies the complexity of the legacy of coal in this area and the power of the unseen. 


As the wind carved my little tree, it itself is 'carved' by the recently installed wind turbines upon the ridges of the local hills and mountains. From my window I can see the composite landscape - an awkwardly shaped slagheap and behind it the flashing tips of turning wind turbines.


No one has ever complained to me about me drawing the slag heaps - in fact some of my most popular drawings are of the local slagheaps. They are in this regard 'celebrated'. So I was not prepared for the hostility towards me (from some people) for me drawing the landscape as it is altered by the installation of wind turbines. This animosity towards me has been vicious and personal at times. BUT I believe that art should seek to agitate and provoke for a response, so I will carry on like that little tree and the windy trolls will just have to blow round me.





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