Derbyshire

HAYFIELD

In 1946, after the War years Harry and Susie found a tiny stone cottage on a hillside farm in Hayfield, Derbyshire. They were “not without scars” after spending the War years in London’s East End and the surrounding Peak District countryside began to heal their broken lives. The moors and craggy tops of Kinder Scout which were a constant source of revelation to Harry who loved its desolate and wild atmosphere.

Places left to the curlew, the damp, grey mist and brown outline…”

He walked the moors in all weathers, making sketches, and learnt to build dry stones walls. These walls which stretch across the Derbyshire landscape were the beginning of his idea for Edge Movement, an idea which he explored throughout his painting life. Harry and Susie endured the severe winter of 1947 and he painted a picture of the farm shrouded in deep snow showing the landscape in a different perspective.

The farm was visited by Northern artists who travelled by train from Manchester. Some of these artists were members of the Manchester Academy of Fine Art. Harry was encouraged by Terry McGlynn and Hal Yates to exhibit work at the Midday Studios in Manchester and Salford Art Gallery in 1948. The works for that exhibition were chosen by L.S. Lowry and A. Frape who was the current curator of the Salford gallery.

In the early 1950’s, some northern artists were moving down to Cornwall settling in the artists’colony in St. Ives, its reputation as the “place to be” gathering momentum, the warmth and bright light would have been made a decision to move on very easy. Harry and Susie travelled down in 1950 never to return to the North.

“In painting of this kind we are dealing with the senses, the feelings and emotions which arise from the enormity, constant change, colour and the elements which are the landscape as a whole. These are matters far beyond factual records of a few seconds observation.”