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Farming and quarrying communities captured in exhibition

Emma Allsop next to her portrait. Photo contributed by Kate Bellis.
Emma Allsop next to her portrait. Photo contributed by Kate Bellis.

A new xhibition has opened which uses photography, moving image, sculpture, poetry and song to tell the story of one Derbyshire hill.

Entitled The Hill and on show at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, the display tells of life on its contours and in its shelter.

It showcases the work of photographer Kate Bellis who has spent the last 20 years documenting the relationships between rural communities and the land around them. Kate’s images capture the working life of the hill – farming and quarrying – as well as images of the community that live in the shelter of the hill which stretches from Wirksworth to Brassington.

Alongside Kate’s photographs, the exhibition houses a full-sized Friesian dairy cow - made from the hill itself, using Longcliffe Limestone - by acclaimed sculptor Sally Matthews. Sally’s incredibly lifelike animal sculptures can be found across the UK, Europe and America.

Kate and Sally’s work are complemented with a film by Wirksworth-based film-maker Gavin Repton, poetry by Lucy Peacock and a song by Carol Fieldhouse. The works will feature in a book with accompanying DVD, to be published this month.

More than 100 people, many from the hill’s farming and quarrying families, attended the launch of The Hill on Saturday. The exhibition runs in Buxton until June 6.