The Conwy River Cycle

Painting North Wales as a student in the early Sixties and earlier as an amateur, I believed there was a 'natural way to make of this resplendent landscape images other than topographic delineations of place; my efforts were, however, prosaic and unremarkable.

Remote from these hills spending most of my life in cities, like Yeats and his 'Innisfree', I feel still a strong retraction; be it misplaced nostalgic longing for rural simiplicity fixed in paint, a romantic wish to step back and complete earlier creative experience or whatever, it is an insistence to which I needed to respond.

This offers a king of homecoming for me, an epiphany, in that it might dispel an ache harboured in my consciousness and artistic aspirations since childhood. The Conwy River Cycle is a new venture conceived as the record of a sequence of direct, unique responses to the same scene - a view from the edge of a wood at Bryn Eisteddfod.

The anatomy of the landscape - the River estuary, fields and woods, clouds, hills and mountains beyond is forever in flux, due not simply to the capriciousness of light and weather, but also in regard to whatever I, the artist, bring to it and hope to find there.

Matisse said: 'Exactitude is not truth'. These pictures are the landscape transfigured - separate utterances, complete-in-themselves although partial, that grope towards an understanding and express of the spirit of this piece of the world that has held meaning for me for over half a century.


The Conwy River Cycle
11 May - June 12 1999

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