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Gerry Halpin MBE PPMAFA

Lancashire, UK

About the Artist

Gerry Halpin is an award winning  contemporary artist from Lancashire.

"Since the beginning of my professional art career, over 30 years ago, I have been totally absorbed in painting the landscape using acrylic paint, oils, watercolour and more recently ink .

Working on canvas and heavy 300lbs paper, my particular interest is in the coastline and engaging with the flotsam left behind or partly submerged between the tides. Rusted and decayed elements of old jetties, groins and other coastal man-made objects, along with shells, seaweed, rocks and pebbles are the focus of my interest though not in a figurative sense but rather as starting points for my interpretive and creative imagination.

As one of my all time, inspirational artists, Paul Cezanne wrote,

“….you must think, the eye is not enough, it needs to think as well.”

Through my paintings, I hope to convey the sensations I experience from watching the sea act on those elements. The tide rushing in and, for a moment as it ebbs away, the swirl of flotsam, twisting, circling, first covering then quickly revealing those elements left behind. Some rocky, coastal areas have deep pools in which, as I peer down, I glimpse intriguing, half hidden, ill-defined shapes which stir my imagination, prompting speedy drawings for later reference.

This ‘way of seeing’ has initiated a very personal response to the coastal landscape which in turn has shaped the unique direction to this particular area of my art.

Sharing this interpretive approach, leaving something for the viewer to explore in the painting is, for me, a very important aspect of my work.

I’m engaging my eye and mind, using various painterly techniques to create and re-present my understanding of what I ‘see’ and the sensations produced from that encounter.

Looking down on the subject, not across to it as is usual, removes the need for a horizon in a painting and my initial drawings which are fundamental to my work, are completed quickly as an aide memoire, from the vantage point of my being directly above the shore, head height down if you will.

Since being elected a Member in 2002, I have exhibited widely with Manchester Academy of Fine Arts. I was a Trustee of the Academy from 2010 until 2015 at which time I was honoured to accept the Presidency of the Academy until resigning after 4 excellent years of enjoyable and rewarding duty in order to concentrate more fully on my painting.

I have exhibited with the ROI for a number of years winning the Menena Joy Schwabe Memorial Award for an outstanding work in 2014. Also, I have had paintings accepted for the RSMA and the RI.

In 2009 I was honoured to be appointed MBE by HRH Elizabeth II in the New Year Honours List for my contribution to Art and Charities."


Watch our video interview with Gerry

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