Photo exhibition highlights diversity of Upper Dales landscapes

Wensleydale Dawn by Richard Walls.

A new photographic exhibition aims to capture the diverse landscapes of the Upper Dales.

Entitled Over Buttertubs, the event at The Station in Richmond features the work of Swaledale artist Richard Walls.

Richard has been photographing the upper reaches of Swaledale and Wensleydale since he and wife Polly came to Muker to run the Old School Art Gallery & Craft Shop, the best part of five years ago.

Richard said he was struck by the photographic possibilities of his new surroundings.

“No matter what the weather, or the season, the Upper Dales always has something on offer.

“Take Swaledale for example – you have from the bleakness of a winter’s day on Birkdale Common, to the perfect curve of Ivelet Bridge, to the drystone wall-patterned meadows of Gunnerside Bottoms.

“Even narrowed down to the immediate vicinity of Kisdon Hill, you’ll find limestone gorges, waterfalls, wild-flower meadows, mires, tight-knit villages and countless field barns. The list goes on and on.

“Upper Wensleydale – wider, softer, more open, and with even more variety – is perhaps a bigger challenge to capture. Five years on I’m still exploring and discovering; it’s a lifetime’s work.”

With so much to choose from, Richard said that selecting 25 photographs that together showed the diversity of the Upper Dales has been quite a challenge.

“When making the final selection, at the back of my mind was the thought of showing off the Upper Dales and perhaps reconnecting them with people from the bottom of the Dale who’ve not had a chance to visit for a while.

“They’re just such a wonderful resource to have right on your doorstep! Hopefully the exhibition will act as a spur for people to make the trip, drive up into Swaledale, visit us in Muker and discover the landscape for themselves.”

Richard said that printing the work on large-format aluminium sheets offered something a little different and more contemporary than traditional paper.

“Big is always good and compared to paper the prints are more vibrant and detailed, and because they’re UV and weather safe they’re suitable to hang just about anywhere, whether it’s the bathroom or the boardroom.”

Over Buttertubs runs until November 17 at The Station.