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Still Time to Wonder. An exhibition of photographs by Joe Cornish

Riverbank and Ruins - by Joe Cornish as part of Still Time to Wonder at Founatins Abbey
Riverbank and Ruins by Joe Cornish | © Joe Cornish

See an original exhibition by renowned landscape photographer, Joe Cornish. Imagine a stillness which will likely never come to this special place again. Through the lens of Joe Cornish, explore the tactile beauty of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal over three years and during the silence of the coronavirus lockdown.

This exhibition has now come to an end

Still Time to Wonder by Joe Cornish came to an end on 31 January 2023.

What's going on throughout this year?

Visit Fountains Mill and the follies throughout the water garden where photographs of this special place will be on display. Go on a journey through the seasons and explore the quiet, and sometimes unruly beauty of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal.

Pick up an exhibition map from admissions and take inspiration from Joe’s work and the way both nature and man has sculpted the design of the landscape here. Have a go at snapping your own photos and visiting areas of the estate you might never have seen before.

Earthly Delights - by Joe Cornish as part of Still Time to Wonder at Founatins Abbey
Find faces and creatures in the twists and textures of nature | © Joe Cornish

Where to see Joe’s work

Throughout the upstairs rooms in the mill you can view photos taken at moments rarely seen by visitors. Images captured at dawn, in twilight, in the chaos and stillness of a snowstorm and when the estate was completely deserted.

Photos found here also explore the buildings of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal and their connection to the natural and artificial landscapes surrounding them. The series 'Inner World' which delves into the textures and shapes of trees dominates an entire wall. All four seasons can be seen throughout the pieces in the mill and you’ll be able to hear from Joe himself as he introduces his exhibition and inspiration in a short film.

In the mill you'll also be able to view a series of six photographs that Joe has themed ‘The Fallen’.

‘The Fallen’ series explores the imaginative possibilities of fallen trees, many of which have a powerfully sculptural quality. The title Joe has given them acknowledges the heroic job they do, providing a refuge for many species of tiny creatures, fungi and microbial life.

Joe Cornish in Studley Deer Park
Joe Cornish in Studley Deer Park | © Joe Cornish

Meet the artist

Joe Cornish is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest contemporary landscape photographers. He lectures and exhibits in the UK and overseas, leads workshops and has written a number of successful books including his best known; First Light

A working photographer since 1980, Joe is based in North Yorkshire and has devoted almost three decades to landscape photography, especially in the north of England and Scotland.

He seeks to translate a sense of connection with the natural world through the careful study of its texture and colour, space and light. Joe is a renowned thinker on the role of photography, especially in environmentalism, and has written countless articles, many appearing in, which he helped co-found. He is also co-founder and director of the Joe Cornish gallery in Northallerton, and Chair of the Landscape Distinction panel of the Royal Photographic Society, of which he is an honorary Fellow. Joe's most recent books include: Scotland’s Mountains; Scotland’s Coast; The Northumberland Coast; This Land; Capability Brown; Humphry Repton.

To learn more about Joe Cornish you can visit:

Fountains represents a microcosm of our complex relationship with nature over many centuries. Today it is peaceful and serene, a place to wander and wonder. Here we might take exercise, renew friendships, find solace, inspiration, ideas, and perhaps above all the beauty contained in this unique valley

A quote by Joe Cornish
Snow Storm - by Joe Cornish as part of Still Time to Wonder at Founatins Abbey
Snow Storm | © Joe Cornish

What inspired this exhibition?

'I commissioned Joe to respond to Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal as a landscape that reflects almost 900 years of our cultural and natural heritage. These images will form a permanent record of a moment in time for this World Heritage Site, both pre, during, and post the global pandemic. Growing up in North Yorkshire, I loved Joe’s work and the way he captured so perfectly the Yorkshire landscape, so it has been a great privilege to work with him here at Fountains.

I hope you find, as I have, that Joe’s work realises the beauty of this landscape, and the special place it holds not only in the history of Yorkshire & our country, but as a treasure for the wider world.'

– Justin Scully, General Manager Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

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