Gerry Halpin MBE MAFA
About the Artist
Gerry Halpin is an award winning contemporary artist from Lancashire. He was awarded an MBE for his services to charity and the arts and until recently was President of the Manchester Academy of Fine Artists (MAFA). He is now able to concentrate full time on painting
As a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, necessitating working from home whilst his studio, in a shared building, is temporarily unavailable, Gerry says:
"I have had to adapt both to the confines of reduced work space and to the direction of my painting.
Views of the landscape, seen when travelling by air, were a constant source of inspiration though they are now grounded, as is the diversion of drawing groups of people waiting in airports, railway stations and galleries which were later worked on in the studio.
Instead, my daily walks whilst in ‘lockdown’ have enabled me to appreciate a new awareness of the landscape whilst being ‘in’ it at ground level rather than being above it. This new way of seeing has initiated an intuitive and expressive rather than descriptive response to the colours, shapes and textures that I encountered around me.
Paring back on detail and re- organising the sequence of space along with a consideration of colour relationships, are key factors informing my re-presentation of the visual world in my painting.
Fields, roads, rivers, hedges and woodland were reduced to areas of space within the painting, responding to the act of passing through the landscape rather than isolating a specific view. My intention was to engage with and record the sensation of the walk rather than it being determined by details, which I felt would be a limiting factor in my final painting.
This ‘engagement’ suggested a more contemplative approach which I wanted to be recognised as an integral part of the painting. It would suggest a calm and thoughtful element to be appreciated by the viewer.
I hope that I might encourage them to stop and think beyond the landscape and find for themselves some triggered personal sensation, stimulated from viewing the work.
Paring back, simplifying down to compositional verticals or horizontals of knifed on related colour, cut through suggestive of the journey, with enigmatic focal points representing pools, buches, gates or buildings, is the intention of my present painting."