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Year on the Ings exhibition

Updated: Mar 3

An exhibition of photographs and ceramics



Nature has sustained and nurtured us all over the pandemic.


A desire to be more responsive to seasonal changes and more closely aligned with the natural cycles has been keenly felt by many this year. The Lower Derwent Ings near Ellerton have been a lifeline during lockdowns and provided sanctuary when times were tough. The words

“We are so lucky to live here” rang out loud and clear in many conversations on daily walks. This exhibition expresses the artists’ gratitude for the natural environment, for the plants and landscapes of the Ings and the regularity of the year.




Photographer Dave Salisbury and I both live in Ellerton and have been inspired by the seasonal changes on the Ings over the past year. A collaboration was hatched to document the ephemeral transitions in porcelain and print. Over days meandering in the snow, wind, rain and sunshine, we observed and documented the succession of wild flowers and trees and their steadfast cycles of growth, fruition and fading that took part this year as it has for thousands before. The exhibition expresses the artists’ gratitude and appreciation for this natural landscape and the steadfast cycles of it’s plants and wildlife.


Using porcelain – a fine white clay, I have thrown a series of Moon jars on the wheel. This ancient Korean form is formed from two identical semi-spheres that are carefully joined together with the characteristic wide neck and narrow base.

With all my usual ceramic shows being cancelled, I wanted to develop my skills and learn to throw this traditional form. It provides a great canvas for the many new designs derived from sketches made on the Ings.”



Winter was especially cold and prolonged, ice shattered into frozen shards and inspired the development of a new crawling glaze that pools into tiny islands during the firing. As the Ings became awash with melting snow the range of Flow pots emerged, featuring sweeps of fluid colour and glaze. My love of wild flowers was evidenced on mugs and Moon jars adorned with Hawthorn, and Dog Rose blossoms. As Summer imperceptibly transitioned into Autumn, the Blossom designs were replaced by fruits of the hedgerow - elderberries, crab apples and rose hips. And with time honoured regularity the greens will fade to rich browns and subtle grey and whites as the earth spins round to Winter and the pots once again are decorated with pale and interesting surfaces.



Says Dave “After 21 years of living in Ellerton next to the wonderful Lower Derwent it is easy to take the valley for granted. I was often heard saying “it’s nice but it’s so flat”and “I wish there was more variety in the topography”

Three factors in quick succession led me to reappraise my relationship

with the valley. First I retired after nearly 40 years of work, second I started volunteering with Natural England working with my hands all over the valley and lastly COVID-19 came along and suddenly my world of walks and photography became restricted to the valley.


All these things led me to fall in love with the valley all over again, in particular the wonderful large every changing skies and the flow and rhythm of the seasons. With this renewed inspiration I set out to document lock down in the valley and to try and capture how the landscape helped my family and I to cope with the extraordinary events in the world. With thanks to Anne Salisbury for “borrowing” some of her work for this exhibition



For more info please email

Jill at jillfordceramics@aol.com

Dave at davidjohnsalisbury@hotmail.co.uk



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