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Cave Artist - M Clarke

JasonC

Active member
I spotted these two pictures (drawings in pastels) in a local auction, and punted a tenner on them.  Not entirely to my surprise, no-one else was interested, so I am now their proud possessor.
They are both signed by "M Clarke" - one 2005, the other 2007, and one has a label indicating it was framed by someone in High Bentham - so evidently the artist lived in the Dales.

I'd be interested to know if anyone knows anything about him or her (or indeed from the artist him/herself if you read this!).

Also - wezzit?  Or rather wezzem?  The locations seem somewhat familiar but I can't place them - possibly because they only exist in the artist's imagination....

Anyway, enjoy - they're rather nice!
 

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Fulk

Well-known member
Nice pictures, Jason.

My guesses are, for the top one, the start of Waterfall Passage, Lancaster Hole, with a few extra stals thrown in for good measure, and for the bottom one, the entrance to Browgill Cave, looking out (again, with a bit of artistic licence).
 

Fulk

Well-known member
I thought of Mike Clarke, with whom I did a bit of caving in the 70s, but I've no idea if he was an artist. From memory dating back to the 70s, this picture does not look like Strans Gill Pot (The Passage of Time?) . . . but then, that was a long time ago!
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
The top one is very similar to Harry Long's photograph in Tony Waltham's 1974 book: "Limestones & Caves of North West England" - page 448.

Bentham would have been very local to Mike's house.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
My post crossed with yours Fulk! I realise you're very familiar with SGP (from reading those excellent Gritstone Club journals) but I've never been to the Passage Of Time, so happy to bow to your greater knowledge. But if you've got that L&CoNWE book, just have a glance at the photo in question and see what you think. (It's got more people in it but the passage shape looks very similar.)
 

Fulk

Well-known member
Having just consulted the book you mentioned, I think that you're right, John. So much for my memory  :cry:. And Mike Clarke was very involved in the exploration of SGP. One of the first people down there (with Harry Long.)
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
Well that's half the riddle solved at least!

Just need to nail the other picture. I've been pondering on that one; I'm having difficulty understanding the scale though. Assuming that is daylight streaming in, you could be right with Browgill. I was wondering about Goyden Pot but it's a long while since I was there and I can't remember how many large boulders there are.

Maybe one of the Black Sheep diggers will see this and tell me I'm wrong.

Or Goydenman himself even?
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
P.S. - this is an interesting variant on the "Wezzit" topic.
I'm intrigued by that second pastel drawing.
 

rsch

Member
The roof shape is exactly right for Browgill and I'd put the rock in the middle down to artistic licence, even if it was viewed from just off to the left of this shot.
 

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JasonC

Active member
Pitlamp said:
...I was wondering about Goyden Pot but it's a long while since I was there and I can't remember how many large boulders there are.

You're right - it does look like Goyden - I should have thought of that - but I'm not sure if the layout of the boulders is the same, though that could be artistic license.

I don't know of Mike Clarke - do I understand he's no longer with us?  Was he around in 2005-2007 to have done these?
 

mikem

Well-known member
He posted the photo of Strans Ghyll in 2005 (although the actual pic seems to have disappeared):
https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/18223

But fortunately saved elsewhere:
https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:passage_of_Time,_Strans_Gill_Pot_-_geograph.org.uk_-_18223.jpg

Passage_of_Time%2C_Strans_Gill_Pot_-_geograph.org.uk_-_18223.jpg


It's a fairly accurate reproduction, so I guess the other is too.
 

JasonC

Active member
Well done, Mike M  :clap: - those pics unquestionably confirm the location of the drawings - and the source in the case of Strans Gill.  In fact, I had put down a slight awkwardness in the seated figure in the drawing to the artist being able to depict caves better than people - but now I see the drawing is a faithful reproduction of the photo!
Thanks for taking the time to do the research.
 
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