Our own artist takes up residence

An artist has taken up “residence” here at Rydal Mount  to help celebrate the life and work of the poet William Wordsworth.

Helen Johnson, from Alston, will work at the house and gardens on a regular basis over the next 12 months, marking the 250th anniversary of the poet’s birth.

artist Helen

A former head teacher who is now a full-time artist, Helen will produce pieces of work on five themes which match the writing and ideas of Wordsworth. They are spirituality, family and relationships, emotions, nature, and excursions.

Helen taught at schools in Canterbury and the north-east before settling in Alston. She has a masters’ degree in art, and was originally an oil painter who now uses a range of materials – including non-recyclable plastic which is melted onto a canvas.

Admitting that Wordsworth’s poetry is a new-found interest, Helen says that she shares his interests in and concerns for the environment and sustainability. She is investigating various sustainable methods of creating works of art including making her own pigments.

Her most recent work shows the trees on the banks of the South Tyne and aims to comment on the crisis we face regarding climate change and the detrimental effects of our consumerism.

Helen said: “This is a wonderful opportunity and the most beautiful place to work.”

The curator of Rydal Mount, Emily Heath, said that she had been attracted initially by Helen’s pictures of red squirrels, which feature on greeting cards sold at the house. “We think that Helen’s work is fascinating, and we are thrilled that she will be working here with us for a year.”

helens squirrels



One thought on “Our own artist takes up residence

  1. To Helen, I am very interested in your tenure at Rydal, where we married September 20th 2014. I had wrongly considered that we were a couple who started a trend. I knew Marion. I have been obsessed with Wordsworth from a Philosophical point of view, where my Saxophone playing is a form of Language very different to the spoken word. Both Barbara and I are now very poorly, and are getting old. Please, if you can show this email to Christopher and Susan and the current Curators I would be grateful.  We could not come to Rydal this September due to illness. But I am very interested in your Art. Both of us admire Jeff Suders. I have a claim to fame. That is, that only I played Tenor (sax) at Rydal Mount, when the music which Nigel played for us was Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Shirley Horn and Mark Murphy. I am not called Lockjaw 2 for nothing. I am Eddie Lockjaw Davis’s Biographer. I am engaged in this as I write. Chris Carter.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s