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Endframe – “Yellow Sea, Cheju, 1992” by Hiroshi Sugimoto

David Unsworth talks about new horizons

David Unsworth

David Unsworth

Artist, illustrator, photographer and writer. After five years at art school, David has spent the last thirty years living and working amongst mountains, first in the English Lake District and now in the Scottish Highlands. Walking has always been a major part of his practice both for subject and inspiration. Rather than the grand vista, his work explores fragments of the landscape, seeking intimate and personal responses to the vastness of the mountain environment. Photography website.


I have not given much thought to horizon lines for a long time. Indeed, I have not given much thought to straight lines in general for a long time. Living in the heart of the Lakeland fells as we do, or did, straight lines do not feature in the landscape very much and where they do occur they seem an unwelcome intrusion on our sensibilities; inevitably man made and symbolic of our disregard, even fear, of nature’s organic systems.

We have just moved house. Simple enough one might say, but for us it has been a seismic shift of direction, location, and (as I am becoming increasingly aware of) thought. For the past ten years or so we have lived and worked exclusively in the Lake District. We made Grasmere our home and our work has been rooted in the place; most especially in the landscape.

I have always felt that we make our best work when we take the time to experience the landscape in an immersive a way as is possible. For us this means spending our time living and breathing the immediate environment we wish to portray. It is the means in which we can move from the casual snapshot and begin to explore a more personal narrative and get to grips with a landscape’s ‘genius loci’, or spirit of place.

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