The Lyngate Window
North Norfolk, England
My sister Brenda and her husband Bill, own a farm in North Norfolk, England. Over the years they have created a nature reserve on their land – Lyngate. This had long been Bill’s dream, even as he worked in the fields as a young man, he was already planning where to situate the lake, woods and wet meadows that would establish habitat for particular birds, animals and plants.
Over the last few years, Lyngate has provided an inspiring location for my work. It is my chance to live close to nature for a few weeks each year, down by the lake in the log cabin. Working directly in nature sharpens all the senses, especially when one is still and observant, as Lyngate is crawling with life.
In North Norfolk, the sea surrounds the land on three sides, throwing light back into the sky. It is bright, even on cloudy days and when the sun shines the contrasts are dazzling. The quality of light has attracted many painters to the area, the most famous being the Norwich School painters of the early 19th century, such as John Crome and John Sell Cotman. These were the painters I admired and imitated as a boy, before I began my art studies in Norwich and London.
I tried to capture that special quality of light for the Lyngate Window. The patterns of light on foliage and on the water of the lake create movement and contrast that seem independent of the objects that form them. I have included some objects to show husbandry, such as a bridge over a ditch, a gate, a boat and a path. These are metaphors for us to enter this world of light and dancing pattern. They invite us to move into the view in a metaphysical way; to move out of the window.