THE LOWER LAKE

The Lower Lake at Bretton Hall in West Yorkshire is one of the many reasons I return time and again to the area.  Part of what is now the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Lower Lake was reopened to the public in 2011 after a major refurbishment project.

I particularly love this part of the park because it seems to retain some of the wild yet tamed nature of a planned Victorian garden.  Alongside the lake are a number of buildings and follys built to entertain the minds of the idle Victorian upper classes who used to own and reside at Bretton Hall.  A particular favourite of mine is the shell grotto, a small building that seems to have grown organically from the surrounding shrubbery.

This linocut print is the first multi-colour print of its type that I have attempted.  Whilst there are many elements I would now change I think the image itself, especially the composition and colouring are very effective.

There are five individual layers to the print.  I started by printing the blue of the sky, followed by the grey of the far bank and the red of the tree trunk and reflections in the foreground.  The penultimate colour is the green of the leaves, which also overprint on the red to create the shadow beneath the tree.  The final colour is the black (it's actually a really dark brown).

The Lower Lake (detail) - linocut by James Bywood
The Lower Lake (detail) - linocut by James Bywood
The Lower Lake (detail) - linocut by James Bywood