Monumental watercolours go on display at unique Lake District museum

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Monumental watercolours go on display at unique Lake District museum
Barbara Nicholls with her work behind her. Image courtesy of Turnpike CIC. Photo Livia Lazar.

BOWNESS-ON-WINDERMERE.- A solo display of Barbara Nicholls’ large-scale watercolours is being shown at Windermere Jetty Museum .

Barbara Nicholls’ watercolours, inspired by the presence of water in the landscape, are reflective of the dramatic environment of the Lake District. Monumental in scale, her works emerge from a process of manipulating pigment in large quantities of water. The pigments behave in a variety of ways; some gather in dark, opaque pools, others are translucent, lapping at the paper to form gentle tidal marks.  The results evoke the sight of earth from the air, organic life through a microscope, ancient geological formations or the lineaments of the human body.

Nicholls describes how she makes work and the importance of using walking as a way of immersing herself in nature. ‘When I create my watercolours on paper, I recall places I have experienced and others I imagine as the work forms. Some seen and others sensed. I remember ancient meandering pathways; natural and man-made dams and bridges across rivers; the controlled carrying of water in aqueducts and canals; flooded fields with lines of debris left behind after the water has retreated; tide marks on beaches; cumulus clouds over hills reflected in ponds; coloured mineral and sediments forming lines on the banks of rivers; varying depths and shapes of geological layers in cliffs and quarries revealing past events and movements of the earth.’

This display adds another dimension to the experience of museum and its collection, one of four cultural organisations run by arts and heritage charity Lakeland Arts. Helen Stalker, Senior Producer at Lakeland Arts comments, ‘These immersive watercolours have found the perfect space in proximity to beautiful Windermere. Barbara’s work brings the awe experienced when engaging with this landscape and allows us to imagine what lies beneath, in the hidden depths of this incredible body of water.’

The display is being hosted in the exhibition space at Windermere Jetty Museum and is free with museum admission. The museum also boasts a variety of activities including a dynamic augmented reality (AR) experience, heritage boat trips, family-friendly workshops as well as a lakeshore café and museum shop.

The display runs from Friday 27 May until Sunday 4 September 2022.

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