North East Art Trail 3 ~ Ray Lonsdale edition

Ray Lonsdale is a steel fabricator from Durham, and in 2002 began using steel for his sculptures. There are many of these sculptures dotted around the North East, I think at least 20. They are quite emotionally engaging, and fascinating to see up close and in their environment. I plotted a fair few on Google maps, and a couple of weeks ago Sophie and I set off to find some of them. I took the Contax with rolls of Cinestill 400T and Dubble Treat (which I didn’t much like the results of so converted them to Black and White mostly), and also my Fuji X100F, so there’s a combination of film and digital shots.

We started out with ‘Not Much to Ask’ a sculpt of a 1st World War soldier, situated in front of Aged Miners Homes in West Cornforth. The plinth he is standing on has all the names of the chaps from Cornforth who died in the war engraved on it.

Fuji X100F
contax + dubble treat
fuji X100F

Next on our list was ‘The Last Shift’, set in Wheatley Hill Cemetary in County Durham, and alluding to the closure of the Wheatley Hill Colliery.

contax + dubble treat
fuji X100F

Also at Wheatley Hill is the ‘Bonny Pit Lad’, a tribute to the young men who worked in the colliery.

contax + cinestill
fuji X100F
fuji X100F

Our next sculpture is The Durham Angel, one of Mr.Lonsdale’s earliest works,and could be found overlooking a pond in Horn’s Garden Centre in Shotton where it arrived in 2004. This was also where we had a very nice lunch of cheese & ham panini’s! Most of the statues come with a little poignant poem attached, but I couldn’t see it here to photograph. This one reads:-

‘Horns’ ( Durham Angel)
Do you live a good life that’s Hard to bear, for wings?
Or take the easy route and get a monkey for your sins?
The dilemma of what to wear on your back.

Contax + Cinestill
Contax + cinestill

After Lunch we went to see ‘Relative Treats’ a life size sculpture of grandmother and granddaughter in South Hetton welfare park in Horden.

contax + cinestill
Contax + cinestill
fuji X100F

We then toddled off to see ‘Da said ”men don’t cry” ‘ at Hetton-le-Hole. There’s a plaque on the plinth that reads ‘Hetton Mining Heritage Statue. Remember where we came from. Life was very hard for this young child sent off by his father for his first shift at the pit. This statue is a tribute and a reminder of the hard life and sacrifice of all the men, women and children who built our coal mining community’.

fuji X100F
fuji X100F
contax + cinestill

Mr. Lonsdale’s workshop is just up the road from that statue in South Hetton and though it wasn’t open being a Sunday, we got a shot through the fence of this chap stood in the yard, which I think maybe is a work in progress, but am not sure.

contax + cinestill

Our last one for the day is also in South Hetton and called ‘And the Village Remains:The Last Tub’ and it stands next to a huge Mural on the wall of the Council offices.

contax + cinestill
contax + cinestill
fuji X100F

And here is a map I made with all the locations that are in travelling distance for Sophie and I. There are some in Yorkshire too but too far for a day trip for us. We’ll be doing another set at some point though!

Ray’s website HERE

Ray’s Facebook HERE

So that’s it for this week, but

for wherever we go next time.

πŸ“· 🎞️ 😊

44 thoughts on “North East Art Trail 3 ~ Ray Lonsdale edition

  1. They’re interesting. The grandmother and granddaughter one is fun, but I didn’t warm to the others. They don’t feel fluid enough to be representing people. Perhaps they’re easier to relate to in the flesh as it were.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The guy has found his voice, that’s for sure. I guess these are all relatively new. What effect will time and the elements have on them I wonder. Not that they’d fall apart, but they’ll likely have a different look in twenty years or so.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, that’s wonderful Fraggle! The material the guy worked with, the way of stiching the pieces together, the colour and the subjects all match, rough, dark, hard, blood, sweat, toil and tears. And the way you rendered your brownish and dustymud pictures enhances that. Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brilliant tributes to a long and wonderful history. Appreciate the map, would love to come and see some of these in person next time I’m up North.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve photographed Tommy in the past, but will include him next time we go. There are too many for one day so I split them into postcodes and he’ll be in the next group. Cheers Jo.

      Like

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