Inspired by walks and wanders, thoughts and meanders along ancient paths, valley trails, the well-trodden ways of monks and drovers…in all seasons, all weathers. Particularly, walking the disused and near-forgotten old railway tracks – once providers of vital links across these magical Border lands – all but hidden in the landscape, until of course, most recently with the welcome return of the first renewed railway-line.

Many of these still remain ‘ in the wild ‘, reclaimed by nature and time – a patch of meadow-bank or hedgerow, where roots, stems, limbs and leaves meet, merge, twist, entwine; autumnal berries, webs and seed-heads are revealed, jewel-like, in unexpected spaces: lit up briefly in sunlight or barely glimpsed, ghostly in the gloaming.

These images are an expression of our combined emotional response to and creative interpretation of some of these wild, reclaimed landscapes, walking with our constant companion, Basil the dog. For us, they evoke many memorable days. Representing man, nature, and the tangled – and precarious – balance with our environment; our lost, and found special places.

Working collaboratively, our idea was to bring together our very different (even diametrically opposed) painting styles/ approaches:

Cate’s considered, restrained, figurative, laborious, tending to monochromatic, and Rin’s intuitive, unrestrained, immediate, kaleidoscopic, ‘devil may care’ method.

Was it possible? we asked ourselves.(In twenty-four years together we’d never tried it before!) It was to be an Experiment..a Challenge. Certain of only the blue sky above, we set off…..

The canvases are painted by Cate (nee Hill) and Keith (Rin) Ryan. The only rules we set were that we were both free to make, throw, splash, and paint marks as we felt. We would both agree on the point at which to finish each piece.

Sometimes the paintings provoked conflict, ‘discussion’ and discord. Then letting go, freedom and harmony.

This was the first pure collaboration between ourselves; who knows what the future holds?


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