The latest exhibition at a Keswick gallery features the work of Cumbrian artist Alan Stones, who specialises in minimalist lithographs and charcoal drawings to rouse the imagination.
Alan, who lives at Blencarn, between Penrith and Appleby, will be exhibiting his work at the Northern Lights Gallery, in St John’s Street, until 18th October.
A well-known artist in Cumbria and across the North West, Alan is the recipient of a number of accolades over the years.
These include winning the Northern Lights Gallery Award at the 2019 Westmorland Landscape Prize event, the People’s Choice Award at the C-Art Cumbrian Artist of the Year 2015, and being a finalist in the Cumbria Visual Artist of the Year category of the Cumbria Life Culture Awards in 2019, 2017 and 2015.
In 1984, he won an award from the Gulbenkian Foundation to experiment in printmaking and has continued to experiment over the years with his craft, his more minimal lithographs emerging some 12 years later.
Alan said: “After several hours struggling to print a flat green colour which was to represent the grasses beneath a hillside, I realised that, actually, I wasn’t particularly interested in either the colour or the make-up of the ground.
“What was exciting me was the line of the hillside and also two gnarled hawthorn trees, independent of each other, but both clinging to the line of the fell.”
Working in charcoal allows Alan to change direction with his drawings, starting with the intention of representing one thing, but the marks he is making then may suggest a different focus.
He says that, for him, over time, the trees and birds of the Cumbrian fells began to feel like metaphors for human endeavour.
“Eventually the prints were to become arenas in which I could depict people directly.
:To my surprise metaphorical possibilities remained. For example, a drawing of a fell walker might be seen as a figure on a journey through life but also his/her rucksack could read as the burden they carry on that journey,” he said.
Alan is also exhibiting two of his works at Scarborough Museum and Art Gallery in the New Light Art Prize, one of which, Eyire, will be on show daily, from 10am-5-30pm, at his exhibition in the Northern Lights Gallery.