This is the View From Birkrigg Common. It’s hanging in a group show in Leeds called And Did Those Feet, an exhibition exploring William Blake’s poem, Jerusalem.
The inspiration for the picture came in March this year when I visited Birkrigg Common, Ulverston, Cumbria, and was struck by the panorama visible from the triangulation point.
Since then I have painted it several times, usually as a series of 4 interlocking images, that to me represent many of the elements of Blake’s Jerusalem:
1. England’s mountains green are there – the fells of the Lake District.
2. Ancient times have left traces such as the Bronze Age stone circle.
3. The pleasant pastures of Bardsea, with their sheep and lambs, look down on the purple sands of Morecambe Bay at low tide, and the island where monks built a holy chapel in the 14th Century.
4. Here can be seen more clouded hills, and at the far right of the painting, Heysham nuclear power station – our latest version of a satanic mill.
The exhibition runs until 24th May 2016 at St Edmund’s Church, Lidgett Park Road, Leeds LS8 1JN. I’ll be there on Sunday 22nd May, 11:30am – 1pm, if you’d like to say hello and see my longest painting yet – it’s 10 feet wide.