Window on Lindow

Phil Barton 5 months ago
The Guild for Lifelong Learning, Bourne Street, Wilmslow SK9 5HD
03-01-2023 to 31-03-2023


This exhibition initiates a wider project by Phil Barton towards a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Lindow Man’s discovery in August 1984.

The Lindow Moss area includes a former raised bog – less than a kilometre from where you are standing – which has been severely reduced and damaged from a combination of centuries of peat cutting, the spread of agriculture, development, alterations to drainage, pollution and waste tipping.  The wider area includes Lindow Common, Newgate Nature Reserve, Rossmere and extensive areas in agricultural use still supporting an extensive landscape of Moss Rooms formed by peat cutting.

The whole area is known as Lindow Common or Moss, but this exhibition focuses on the remaining cut-over peat bog known as Saltersley Moss where Lindow Man was found in 1984 (he's now in the British Museum). It has been heavily cut for peat, which ceased several years ago and, in February this year, the first on site steps were taken to begin to re-establish the bog so that it once again becomes a living sphagnum bog locking up carbon from the atmosphere. My project is to track this restoration. For simplicity I refer to Saltersley Moss as Lindow Moss in this show, because it is the only remaining area of open peat surviving from the original raised bog.

The work shown here was made in May 2022.  There are 31 pieces – one made each day in May.  Some of them have been re-made for this exhibition. I will re-resh the exhibition as it goes on with new work I plan to make in the coming weeks. In making these works I set myself three objectives:

  • To explore the natural and cultural history of Lindow Moss, making what I found out visual
  • To utilise materials from the bog in my drawings and
  • To develop an abstract body of work inspired by three modernist retrospective shows I saw early last year - Barbara Hepworth at The Hepworth in Wakefield and Bice Lazzari at The Estorick Collection & the Barbican's Postwar Modern show, both in London.

I hope you enjoy drawing back the curtains and this Window on Lindow

Phil Barton, January 2023


Window on Lindow