A key moment in Lake District history

An exhibition which captures a key moment in Lake District history has opened here in Grasmere at our Heaton Cooper archive gallery.

Indeterminate Land is a series of black and white photographs by Chris Routledge showing the impact of Storm Desmond on the landscape, in particular the valley of the river Rothay at Rydal.

Opening the exhibition, the poet James Byrne said that Chris had a poetic instinct as a photographer. “He watches with a poet’s eye,” said James.

“In capturing one of the key moments in Lake District history, he has reinvented the familiar, transforming the real into the sublime. That’s what great photographers do.”

The exhibition has been curated by Julian Cooper, the artist regarded as Britain’s foremost mountain painter, who said: “These quietly powerful photos show the fragility and resilience of this Romantic landscape during and after the floods of Storm Desmond in 2015.”

Julian Cooper and Chris Routledge

The pictures illustrate the “many strange and beautiful changes” that took place after the storm which smashed rainfall records and caused widespread flooding in Cumbria.

Chris, who has a house near the river, began photographing a short section of the Rothay as the storm abated, and in the months that followed, and the exhibition includes around 30 pieces of work looking at changes made to the landscape by the storm, and severe flooding. The project, he says, explores our relationship with the landscape, and the subtle ways in which it changes at the edge of what we see.

A freelance writer as well as photographer, Chris has worked on many different kinds of non-fiction writing projects, including blogs, books and journalism.

The exhibition runs until November 3. The gallery and shop, along with Mathildes cafe, are open daily including Sundays.