The inspiration for the landform comes from the distant Cheviot Hills, which are pulled into the foreground by the curves and shapes of the female form used for Northumberlandia. The idea of ‘borrowing the landscape’ and miniaturising it is an old one, although not quite as old as relating landforms to our bodies.
We naturally look for patterns and shapes in the landscape around us and the scale of the landform means the female figure is not perceived as a figure all of the time, as you walk around the paths you have to use this natural empathy with the human form to pick out the shape of the figure. For much of the time, it appears just as a series of graceful sweeping curves and interlocking shapes.
The network of paths are an integral part of the design, not just to allow the visitor to fully explore the landform, but also to reinforce the echoed outline of the figure as it steps down to the surrounding ground and lakes.
The lakes also provide a perfectly flat plane that contrasts with the landform and creates movement and reflection. The pale coloured surface of the paths also contrasts with the grass and makes their flowing sinuous patterns stand out in elevated views on the landform.