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Sketches of a Dream

Sketches of a Dream

Tessa Lyons
October 2017 | Read

Young British artist and illustrator Tessa Lyons, 29, is a leading figure in contemporary mountain culture. This exclusive LEGEND preview showcases a small selection of her best recent work, conjured up in a range of wild locations from the Scottish Highlands to Norway, Iceland, and the Sierra Nevada. She describes some of her sources of inspiration in the paragraph below:

"As an artist and a climber I'm interested in the visual appeal of geology. Why it is that alpinists are drawn to certain mountains? Why do rock climbers describe certain routes or lines in rock as 'beautiful'? As a climber I want to experience these places, but as an artist I want to capture the essence of them. My work is about my love of being outside in captivating natural surroundings. I've been an avid rock climber for many years. One of the things that I enjoy most about climbing is the amazing places it can take you to, and my work ties together my passion for these landscapes with my enjoyment of drawing. Much of my work explores our relationship to the landscapes we move through as climbers and wilderness travellers."



Ben Nevis in winter, Lochaber, Scotland


Skógar, Iceland


Rydal Cave near Rydal Water, Cumbria, England


Jetrunner, Bamford Edge, Peak District, England


Ghost Whisperer, Sierra Nevada, California


Black Sail, Cumbria, England


Dancing Ledge, Dorset, England


Burbage North, Peak District, England


Castleton Tower, Castle Valley, Utah


The Sentinel, Burbage North, Peak District, England


Hallucinations by winter moonlight


Crib Goch and Snowdon, Llanberis Pass, Wales


Lakeside cabin in winter, Norway


Stanage Edge, Peak District, England


Tessa Lyons studied Illustration at the University of Brighton where she was awarded the ‘Highly Commended Award’ by Japan's Nagoya University of Arts. Since graduating, she has had gone on to exhibit throughout the UK in both group and solo exhibitions, including shortlisting for the Haworth Prize at the Mall Galleries in London. Most recently, she received the Fleck Fellowship Award from the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Canada.

Coming from an illustration background, she works alongside organisations who share her passion for the outdoors at the heart of their initiative, including The British Mountaineering CouncilThe National Trust, the Kendal Mountain Festival and magazines such as AlpinistRock & IceClimb, and Trailrunner amongst others. Tessa now lives in North Wales, amongst the mountains of Snowdonia, where she divides her time between climbing and drawing.

To find out more about her work and commissions, visit her Adventures in Art website


The second part of this special preview of Tessa's work will be published soon on LEGEND. 

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Tessa Lyons

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