Photographic journey at Paxton House

College Vally near Whitehall
College Vally near Whitehall

THE Hayloft Gallery at Paxton House is cramming in a journey of 800 miles by displaying a collection of photographs taken over nine years’ of walks through the glorious landscapes of Northumberland.

The walks extend from the River Tweed to the Derwent near the border with County Durham, and from the North Sea coast up into Kielder Forest, and the photographs capture the delights and surprises to be found along them.

The photo-canvases are by Tony Claydon, who began his walks in 2002, at the mouth of the River Coquet at Amble, and will complete the project this year, high up by the River Irthing, on the border with Cumbria.

“The whole experience has been an absolute treat” he said. “It was so enjoyable that I simply had to share it with other people”.

But, as well as experiencing lots of contentment on the way, Tony’s commitment to his project has seen him has fall into a deep snowdrift, slip into a river and shot at with an air rifle, thankfully not all at the same time!

Tony said his various scrapes have been worth it though and he believed that big is beautiful when it comes to photographs.

He continued: “My largest prints are five feet wide, and they show lots of detail, so it’s possible to step up close and imagine yourself into the picture.

Then, it seems almost as if the scene has become your personal domain - your private patch of Northumberland.”

But the photos are only half the story. Also on show will be extracts from the northumberlandscapes website commentaries, which describe what it feels like to take these walks - what you can see, hear and feel.

Tony added: “The call of the curlews, the gurgling streams, and the sound of the wind in the trees are essential parts of the experience, which photographs alone can’t capture.”

Visitors can also complete a quiz that will give them entry to a prize draw to win one of the prints. Tony’s exhibition runs until Monday, and a ticket to the grounds of Paxton House includes admission to the gallery.