When I was a kid, there was a proposal to build some wind turbines on farmland over the ridge of Royd Moor, a 5-minute walk from our house.

The proposed site was understandable. The Wind and Weather (with capital 'W's) drive in from the Pennine Hills to the west with great gusto, and would give life to the blades, and power to our kettles.

There was an Uproar.

Posters were placed in windows, and there were committees and meetings and all the normal huffing and puffing that goes on when something is proposed by 'outsiders'. The phrase 'Blot on the Landscape' was grumbled.

In due course, the turbines were built. I watched in fascination as, in winter when the trees were bare, you could see the tips of the blades rotating on the near horizon from their owners just tucked away over the brow of the hill. I loved them.

And I still do.

Over the years, a few larger, more modern structures have been added to the original grouping, and the route to our studio takes us straight past these soaring, elegant beasts.

They take on the colour of the weather and seasons, and look over the landscape like silent sentinels. I imagine them as curious, alien creatures—there's something a bit sci-fi about them. They have 2 eye-like red lights on the generator housing on the back of the hub, which eerily glow at you in darkness.

I always wondered what all the fuss was about. Having a bunch of windmills making clean, renewable energy for the surrounding villages and town is surely a damn sight better than a bloody-great power station belching out crap nearby? It was the advent of the NIMBY.

I painted NIMBY in December 2020, after we had the first snow of the winter. It made the extraordinary turbines look even more magical against the striking whited-out landscape. 

All images and text © 2021 Julia Brown


Tags

Contemporary Oil Painting, Environment, In the Studio, Landscapes, New Painting, Wind Turbines


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