St Thomas' Church, Stanhope and St James-the-Less Church, Forest-in-Teesdale

Hefted To Hill, The Exhibition was the culmination of a year’s work on the part of artist/philosopher/dry stone waller Ewan Allinson, photographers Louise Taylor and Richard Glynn (of Wideyed Collective), and seven farmers who contributed their time, their wisdom and their conversation.

The free multi-media exhibition took place throughout July 2019 in two churches in Teesdale (Church of St James the Less, Forest-in-Teesdale) and Weardale (St Thomas’s Church, Stanhope), each site hosting different content. Visitors were able to hear the voices of farmers offering wisdom, knowledge and insight, providing a backdrop to unique, intriguing and innovative displays of stunning colour and black & white photographs of farmers, their work and their landscape.


In recruiting farmers to share their expertise for this project, Ewan Allinson offered them something valuable in return – two days of free dry-stone walling.  The conversations that took place during this shared activity over the period of one year were without exception good-natured, open-minded, often hilarious, and rich in details.  The two photographers both made multiple visits to each farm and were always greeted with warmth and generosity.   

Conversations with Trevor and Susan I

Conversations with Trevor and Susan II

Conversations with Trevor and Susan III

Conversations with Joanne and Robin I

Conversations with Joanne and Robin II

Conversations with Graham and Sandra

Conversations with Graham and Sandra II

Conversations with Dr Margaret Bradshaw

Ewan Allinson BA (Oxon) MA is a freelance sculptor and philosopher and a master craftsman dry-stone waller. He was vice-chair of the award-winning Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership 2011-2016 and was a founder of the Northern Heartlands Great Place Scheme.   

Richard Glynn and Louise Taylor are founding members of North-East based arts collective Wideyed and have exhibited individually and collectively around the world.  

The exhibition in St James the Less has been generously supported by funding from Durham County Council’s Neighbourhood Budget Fund, with thanks to Councillors Ted Henderson, George Richardson and Stephen Hugill. 

Read more here where Ewan describes the initial explorations of churches and chapels in his blogpost, inspired by a crisp January morning in Teesdale and the Gaunless Valley and enjoy the stunning images in the gallery taken by Louise Taylor.


  • Hefted to Hill - image © Louise Taylor