Cathedral Cave is part of a complex of caves, underground workings, quarries and spoil heaps that make up the slate mines of Atkinson Coppice in Little Langdale. Accessible from the footpath near Slater Bridge, the site is managed by the National Trust, and is open for public exploration.
What I find quite amazing about this whole area is that it once comprised some of the most extensive slate workings in the region. Now all you can see are spoil heaps and the occasional mine building poking out through the undergrowth. What is now such a quiet place must once have been a noisy maelstrom of activity.
The cave itself is a fair size. To capture how big I decided to add a rare human figure to the finished artwork. I normally don’t include people in my work, but in this instance I think the inclusion of my Dad in the picture has added a focus and much needed sense of scale.
The print comprises four colours. I think it is one of my most successful attempts to incorporate shades (half tones) into a print that help to add shade and depth. The rock fall to the right side of the image really helps to demonstrate this.
I was also keen to capture the light within Cathedral Cave. The cave opening to the right casts light over the rock fall and floor beneath. Less light makes it to the back of the cave, to the left beyond the figure, hopefully this is portrayed in the print.
Printed on 300gsm Canaletto using water based inks