Reading The Landscape


Over the last three years photographer Peter Heaton has spent time walking, recording sounds and taking photographs in the Yorkshire Wolds as part of his Reading the Landscape project. The exhibition is closed at the moment but our online highlights give a taste of Peter's stunning and thought-provoking work.

You can view more of Peter's work on his website:

Reading The Landscape

Over the last few years I have spent many days walking in the Yorkshire Wolds trying to connect the idea of an inner landscape with the reality of outer ones.

Thoughts, ideas and observations made during this time have been recorded in text and overlaid onto black and white landscape photographs.

The layers of words function on several levels and are key to the finished images. Words referencing our obsession with the weather dominate - set fair, clearing rain, overcast. Other words describe feelings or mental states - isolated, harrowing, edgy, inaccessible.

The limits of using a photograph to capture an experience are tested by referring to what is happening outside of the frame and the moment in time it was taken - white noise falls soundlessly, kites soar out of view, a smell of rain in the ears. The photographic composition and the media itself are explored - distance flattened, a wet collodion glow, extreme cropping.

Central to all the images is the drastic decline in numbers of some birds, animals and butterflies in the Wolds and the timely issue of our stewardship of the countryside - hedgehogs still missing, agitation expected, necessary.

Peter Heaton, 2020
Cloudy. Well Dale
Cloudy, Well Dale
Rain Clearing. Deep Dale
Rain Clearing, Deep Dale
Settled. Fordham Dale
Settled, Fordham Dale
Sunny Spells. Horse Dale
Sunny Spells, Horse Dale
Cold Snap, Leavening Wold
Cold Snap, Leavening Wold
High Pressure, Thixendale
High Pressure, Thixendale

Sounds of the Yorkshire Wolds

Listen to Peter's sound pieces based on birdlife of the Yorkshire Wolds