The ‘Art Barn’ part of the Every Barn project is in the hands of Yorkshire Dales-based artist Helen Peyton. Local charity, the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust has generously funded her to produce a piece of work that we can reproduce on items such as tea towels, tote bags and mugs. We will be offering these to local visitor businesses in the first instance but would like eventually to be able to sell Art Barn souvenirs to help raise money to preserve Swaledale cowhouses into the future.
“As you drive over the pass at Buttertubs into Swaledale, it has to be one of the finest views in the whole of the Yorkshire Dales and I am one of the luckiest people because I have been invited by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to make artwork linked to the cowhouses in Swaledale and the project Every Barn Tells a Story.
I start as I always do with any artwork at the museums; my linocuts are based on their collections. I am fascinated by why we collect objects, how our memory and emotions can be linked to them. The stories behind a museum artefact give us a wonderful base to understanding an area, its diversity and traditions.
My first visits were to Keld Resource Centre, Swaledale Museum in Reeth and the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes and between them the wealth of information is captivating. To start with, everything is interesting or beautiful and would make a lovely linocut and I think it is the trickiest aspect of any commission, isolating your interests and just settling on one thing. Immediately I am attracted to cheese and butter production and in particular the butter marks or moulds that imprint a decorative pattern onto the surface, these are particularly pleasing as a printmaker to find something so charming and intricate, similar to the way I cut wood or lino for printing.
Another interest lies in the old packaging, posters and maps from the area…
Watch this space to see which I select to develop into linocuts or letterpress.”