Thursday night was the PV for a new exhibition of work by Gerry Halpin at the Gallery at St Georges House. Unfortunately, as it started at 6 pm rather than the usual 5 pm, I wasn’t able to go as Rachel’s class started at 6.30. (See last post). However I understand it was crowded with about 75 people there. I managed to see the show yesterday lunchtime (while also enjoying a bacon, onion and tomato omelette, only £2.75 – delicious!).
Last summer, I posted about the Frankenstein Effect. The viewer’s perception of Lorraine Agg’s pretty landscapes changed when the titles were read, as they were the names and dates of death of the Moors Murder victims. Okay, yesterday wasn’t in that form but certainly my perception of Gerry Halpin’s paintings changed after I read his Artist Statement:
These are nice abstracts. I wonder what the Artist Statement says. … “Gerry Halpin is a landscape painter …” What? These are abstracts! No way are they landscapes! … “… though his perspective is rather different from where we commonly see the world.” … Too right! I’ve never seen landscapes like this! “His interest is in recording the view from above, usually when making a journey, often abroad though sometimes flying in a light aircraft from Barton aerodrome.” Ah! That abstract of a blue streak across a red rectangle, has just become a river flowing across a red sandy area, and that abstract of a large brown area above a large blue area has just become a coastal landscape.
The Artist Statement continued:- “Most of us have probably experienced these views from above and looked down with a passive interest but I discovered the potential of these observations for my art when flying back from San Francisco some years ago. The patterns in the landscape over Utah were quite amazing and I began to ‘see’ and record with a new enthusiasm.
“Time is of the essence and drawings have of necessity to be quickly done. They are a kind of artistic shorthand of what is viewed in a fairly fleeting moment and as such the results are interpretive rather than factual. Scenes are reduced to linear content where roads become lines, where buildings are mathematical shapes and woodland an amorphous area.”
Now I remember another artist from the 30s or 40s who painted scenes he had experienced from a light plane in the South West of England. He may have been a member of the St Ives school. Anyone remember his name? Meanwhile, here is a photograph I took recently shortly before landing in Moscow. Now, I wonder….. and I’m flying to Genoa soon ……
Meanwhile here are four more of Gerry’s paintings:
Gerry sometimes uses gold leaf to enhance the glow of reflected light, as in this painting.