Inspired by our Land runs until Sunday 13th February.

Inspired By Our Land is a special gallery exhibition produced in association with Unison Colour, a handmade soft pastel business based in Northumberland National Park. The temporary exhibition is an opportunity to view and purchase artwork by two of Unison Colour’s local associate artists, Fiona Carvell and Stuart Walton, who use Unison Colour’s handmade pastels to capture the beauty of the National Park’s landscape.

Unison Colour dates back to 1987, when artist John Hersey made his own soft pastel after years of not being able to find a soft pastel that was suitable for his work. This is when the renowned and widely used Unison Colour soft pastel was born. Still based in Northumberland’s Tarset Valley, almost half a million handmade soft pastels are made in the workshop each year and delivered to artists all over the world.

Unison Colour Logo

About the artists

Fiona Carvell graduated with a BA (Hons) in Illustration and Moving Image design from Suffolk College and the University of East London, which lead to Illustration commissions and a career in design for broadcasting. She became a full time Artist in 2015 and is an Associate Artist of Unison Colour, working extensively with their handmade pastels to create her artwork.

A photograph of Fiona Carvell stood in front of two of her artworks

“I enjoy the flexibility of both application and outcome that working with pastel brings. Holding coloured pigments directly in the hand, enables me to transfer my intentions directly onto paper and retain the nuances of movement, stroke and pressure that help build an image.

“Unison Colour Soft Pastels are simply the best you can get. Fabulous colour range, beautiful textures and great staying power, they are a joy to work with. And they’re hand made in Northumberland, so I am happy in the knowledge I am supporting a great local brand, that’s sold worldwide.”

To find out more about Fiona’s work, forthcoming exhibitions, commissions or join in with online pastel demonstrations visit www.fionacarvell.com

Associate Artist Stuart Walton has always had a passion for painting and drawing; he attended art classes and obtained a place at the Junior Art Class at Newcastle University at the young age of 11. After dropping art at Grammar School in order to take sciences, and eventually study Medicine at Newcastle, Stuart took the opportunity to study for and obtain an ‘A’ level in Fine Art following his retirement in 2006.

“’Inspired by our Land’ has given me the opportunity to look at all aspects of the Northumberland landscape that has been built by its geography, geology and history, and my paintings reflect the diverse factors that make this part of the country special and unique, whether it is in the rock formations of the Whinsill, the wild beauty of the coastline or the impact of man on the land with its buildings and castles.

“I find the Unison Colour pastel range unmistakably extensive and well suited to the North Northumberland landscapes and coast where I live. Added to this, the texture of the pastels combines a softness and the right amount of ‘chalkiness’ making application easy and fluid.”

This free public exhibition runs from Friday 10th December 2021 to Sunday 13th February 2022, from 10am to 4pm daily (except for Christmas Day).