THE stark beauty of Yorkshire’s upland moors is the main focus of a new exhibition of work by Leeds-based artist Judith Levin at The Bingley Gallery.

These are scenes where you might expect the Bronte sisters, or less romantically perhaps, a trio of Last of The Summer Wine characters to make their appearance.

However, the paintings remain uninhabited landscapes where you can imagine the song of the skylark or perhaps, as one visitor commented, the sensation of cold water seeping into your boots.

We have, of course come to realise that such landscapes are not only beautiful, but an important part of our eco-system. They support a diverse range of plants and animals, and the thick layers of peat provide a far greater carbon capture facility than any woodland.

Moorland provides much of our drinking water but retains heavy rain to delay the run-off that leads to flooding in the valleys.

It also provides much-enjoyed leisure space for locals and visitors alike.

It is not a landscape that can be taken for granted. In recent years we have learned of the moors vulnerability to fire and the debate over the management of much of the land for shooting continues.

The artist, Judith Levin, has for many years specialised in capturing this environment on canvas.

She admits that for the past 24 months, she has lived a primarily solitary life, focusing her energy on painting variations of the upland moors she loves.

The resulting exhibition, Walking Through Clouds: Moor and Mist, captures the beauty of the natural landscape of the region, especially when the moors are full of purple heather; the changing light, the distant mists, surprise brooks and waterfalls and the sensation of walking through cloud.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Heather Basket by Judith Levin Heather Basket by Judith Levin (Image: The Bingley Gallery)

Judith’s medium is oil on canvas, but with huge differences in size, from miniature you can put on the mantlepiece to canvases that require wall size.

The landscapes are predominantly of the moorland for which our region is famous, but further canvases include few still lifes: orchids, peonies and wild heather, in the same colour palette.

Whilst Judith’s internationally acclaimed oil paintings are the main feature of the show, her work is supported by other artists from the region, whose artwork is also on display.

These include The Rustic Route from nearby Eldwick, which combines the talents of a joiner and electrician who use high voltage electric currents to burn ‘fractal’ patterns into the surface of reclaimed and locally sourced timber which is used to produce striking household items.

Two other woodworkers are Gavin Edwards of Baildon - who cuts sections of timber, such as that sourced from old pallet wood, and reassembles it into beautifully finished decorative panels that show the beauty that lies hidden within the wood - and Mike Bentley, whose lifetime experience as a woodturner has taken the art to a rarely seen level of expertise, each piece dictated by the nature if the original sourced offcut.

Ceramics also feature in the show. Kath Bonson of Cullingworth has experimented extensively with glazes to develop a technique that allows both screen printing of moorland wildlife and human activity with heavily reacted surfaces which mimic heathery vegetation.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bird Vase by Kath Bonson, who specialises in ceramics Bird Vase by Kath Bonson, who specialises in ceramics (Image: The Bingley Gallery)

June Hurford, a tutor at Hive Studio, has provided miniature Dales landscape sculptures and a magnificent earthenware capercaillie.

The exhibition is completed by a couple of life-sized plus open wirework sculptures of an owl and a hare by visiting North Yorkshireman Richard Gibson

* The Walking Through Clouds: Moor and Mist exhibition - which runs at the Bingley Gallery from now until November 12 - provides an opportunity to see some remarkable talents applied to Yorkshire’s iconic moorland.

Normal gallery hours are Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.

The Bingley Gallery is a selling outlet for art. Alongside the oil paintings of David Starley, the resident artist and owner of the gallery, is a wide selection of artwork by artists from the district, including Jane Fielder and L Amy Charlesworth. Work by more than 30 other artists from the region is displayed in eight rooms across two floors. The extensive range of art on sale includes paintings, engravings, prints, ceramics, sculpture, wood and metalwork sculpture, as well as greetings cards and gift items based on the artists’ designs.

A programme of temporary exhibitions, including visiting artists, changes on an approximately six week basis.

* For more information go to