Walking the Yorkshire Moors: Textiles, Art and the Landscape

The ‘Woven’ festival is about celebrating the textile industry across the Kirklees region. As part of a 2 week programme of events, I went on a textile art walk on the Pennine Moors just above Marsden. The walk was led by a researcher and weaver with interests in textiles and rural landscapes. At the beginning of the walk we were provided with notepads, pens, pencils and various art implements so that we could make visual representations of the landscape. We followed the paths of Marsden textile workers of days gone by. I don’t really see myself as an artist though I enjoyed having the opportunity to see the landscape in new ways and to experiment with drawing and photographing the Moors. The image below is one of the paths once used by Textile workers.

We were asked to collect things along the way as part of a scavenger hunt type activity which we could then use to form an artwork. I started by collecting grass and flowers to make some sort of bouquet …

I used various pencils and pens to draw the landscape but then I thought about whether I could use the soil, brambles and stone to make art! My first attempt at using mud to represent a footpath is depicted in the image below. I tried to make brush strokes with the mud similar to depict the landscape. I was also kind of inspired by the interesting brush stroke work of artist, potter and calligrapher, Tom Kemp https://tomkemp.com/about

I then thought about putting the mud art landscape in the backdrop of photographs of the same landscape – see images below.

Halfway through the walk, we were then asked to use thread, grass and anything else we found in our surroundings to create an artwork. We were provided with the net which was actually from online flower delivery companies. We were also provided with the circle clamp items.

We visited two reservoirs on the walk and then on the way back spotted Manchester City in the distance! I quite like how my camera turned out the image as it looks like a watercolour painting – the effect was unintentional though i like how it turned out!

By the time we had got to the end point of the walk it begun to rain heavily! It was a really enjoyable walk all in all. Lovely people and interesting discussions! I feel quite inspired to incorporate drawing and photography into walks that I do. So I’ll use this blog to produce further articles and possible photos and art-work.

If you are interested in finding out more about the walk and the Woven festival then there are two web-links below with more information.

Information about the walk – ‘Hidden from sight: Exploring the role of textile in the landscape’. Click the web-link below:


Information about the Woven Festival 2019. Click the web-link below:


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