‘Fireweed and Furnaces’

Currently on display in the Heritage Centre, Winlaton Mill, is an exhibition celebrating the new interpretation panels that have started to appear at various locations across the Land of Oak & Iron, with the first of these situated outside the Heritage Centre and Crowley’s Dam.

Land of Oak & Iron

These interpretation panels, which feature stunning illustrations by artist Cathy Duncan, are all located in places with a significant and important link to the unique heritage in the Land of Oak & Iron.

Cathy’s lino-cut illustrations were created with inspiration taken during visits to locations such as The Spetchells, Shotley Grove and Crowley’s Dam.  The illustrations explain the noise and smell, the people and power of these places of industry, expressing the stories and memories that, for the most part, sit hidden among undergrowth or beneath the ground.  Whilst these places of industry lie dormant amongst the quiet of the surrounding trees and woods, the richness of their history can still be sensed.

Designed by Steve Pardue of Differentia, the panels were manufactured using traditional materials and local fabricators, creating pillars of steel with strands of oak sitting alongside them with poetry carved into their trunks.

Land of Oak & Iron

The exhibition features limited edition lino print artworks by artist Cathy (you might recognise Cathy’s work from the front cover of ‘Men of Iron’), along with sketch books full of illustrations and working drawings for the interpretation panels. The display also includes illustrated details of nature and landscapes in Steve’s wonderful sketch books.

The collaboration between artist and designer have resulted in a suite of lyrical objects that sit in the landscape as if they were always present there.

The exhibition opened 14 March and will continue for several weeks when the centre re-opens.