Throughout this month you may have spotted several mysterious yellow signs at unexpected places. This September the county wide contemporary art festival known as C-Art has been pointing people in the direction of open artist studios and exhibition spaces. It’s been a great chance to see artists’ work, and I can’t deny, be a bit nosey at the same time, when I probably should have been doing something else. I followed two such intriguing signs to Hadyn Morris and James Reynolds’ studios in Tirril. Both were a total delight and as luck would have it, revealed amazing, extensive gardens tucked away which I was kindly invited to explore.
Hadyn Morris’s studio is filled with bright and lively paintings reflecting the surrounding landscape, but my eye was drawn to the sketch books, which displayed a different, more reflective mood often in watercolour and ink.
His wife Judith showed me round their garden, following grass paths which lead you through fully stocked herbaceous borders, heavily laden fruit trees, and rampant climbers. Then surprisingly through a hidden gate to a huge kitchen garden where even peaches and lemons thrive in the greenhouse. You would never know it was there, a real secret garden.
Across the road James Reynolds’ studio is also a treasure trove. I admired his imaginative sculptures of beautifully hewn wood, stone and silver, but just as exciting was discovering the extensive garden. Again, the success lies in the unexpected; the visitor has no idea where the path will lead. New views reveal themselves as you follow the lawn through trees planted over 10 years ago, to come across witty puns carved in stone, land art and sculptures standing in circles of trees.
by Beatrice Ray www.bearaygardens.com