Finding meaning in the landscape of Ilkley Moor

Exhibition February 17 to 25 February 2018 Ilkley Manor House.

Private View & Ilkley Arts Creative Networking Event

Friday 23 February 6 pm – 9 pm.

The exhibition will be open at the following times:

Saturday 17, 10 am. – 4 pm.

Sunday 18, 10am.  – 1pm.

Monday 19, 10am. – 4pm.

Tuesday 20,12 midday – 4 pm.

Wednesday 21, 10 am. – 4 pm.

Thursday 22, 12 mid-day – 4 pm.

Friday 23, 12 mid-day – 4 pm.

Saturday 24, 10 -4 pm.

Sunday 25, 12 mid-day– 4 pm (Workshop 25 February 1.30 – 3.30 pm)


Filippa Dobson. The First Cut. August 2017.


The Talking Stone Exhibition represents the artist’s quest to find meaning in the landscape of Ilkley Moor. The work shown here reflects the transformation of a prehistoric carved rock (The Badger Stone) into artist books, prints, photography, projection, land art and film. Mapping a five-year exploration on the Moor, the exhibition fosters new encounters with the mysterious and enigmatic Badger Stone and documents four major performance/installation pieces on the Moor: The Lying Stanes (2013), Ad/dressing the Stone (2013) Talking Stone (2015) and The First Cut (2016). A playful and imaginative conversation ensues between the visitor, the exhibition and the archaeological record that is housed within the Ilkley Manor House. The focus of the exhibition is the Badger Stone, which is an earth fast reddish-brown rock over three metres long and over one metre tall incised with concentric circles and intersecting grooves. Reminiscent of the Uluru (Ayers Rock) circle paintings, the carvings have been interpreted as universal symbols giving the rocks and wider landscape a spiritual or sacred significance. The exact meaning of the circles is unknown. By striving to embrace the ancient traditions of mark making and circle making, the artist revitalises the distinctive relationship between humans and the marked rocks that has persisted for millennia. By gifting art work to the Ilkley Community, the symbolism persists and reclaims a small fragment of the heritage landscape as contemporary public art.

Filippa Dobson is an PhD Researcher within the School of Design, University of Leeds and an exhibiting artist on Ilkley’s Art Trail.