Artist-run ‘The Lake Gallery’ opened last month in West Kirby, providing much welcomed space for contemporary artists and makers to show new work. The gallery has been smartly renovated to showcase exhibitions in a clean, uncluttered environment extending back into the building from a modest frontage. I’m honoured to have been invited to show in the second exhibition organised by the gallery’s team (glass artist Helen Smith, photographer-artist Marianthi Lainas and painter-printmaker Clare Flinn).
be | longing: three artists explore landscape and reconnection through photography, oil paint and watercolour. We had a discussion about our roots – two of us are from Northern Ireland and one from Wales so we reflected how this displacement from our countries of birth has influenced our artwork. Here is my artist statement for the show:
I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland but moved to study Fine Art at Liverpool Polytechnic in 1977 and later made Wirral my home. Since 2011 I’ve painted almost exclusively in watercolour, enjoying its natural texture and elemental processes. The coast, from saltmarsh to sandy, tidal plains, is a constant subject and link to my birthplace — the call of ‘home’ remains strong. I favour atmosphere and emotion over subject and detail, being moved by light and subtle colour, and undefined points of interest in the distance which I realise is an echo of that need for connection, of reclaiming my roots, language and familiar ways. Recently I’ve been painting a new series based on extended visits to care for my late father, though the main body of work on show focuses on the north and west Wirral coastline.
My New Brighton studio is open by appointment for viewings and watercolour lessons.