Winter Landscapes At Northumbria University Art Gallery

By Narelle Doe | 08 November 2007
a painting of a winter coastal landscape with three figures in the foreground

Brita Granstrom, Snow, Tweed Estuary. © Brita Granstrom

As winter approaches, Northumbria University has created a topical exhibition, Winter Landscapes, in its University Gallery, running from November 9 to December 22 2007.

Featuring a selection of artists, the exhibition promises to transport the visitor into bleak winter spaces, highlighting man’s mortality and vulnerability at the mercy of the elements.

a painting showing a dark brooding night sky over an illuminated settlement

Ornulf Opdahl, Ford, Village. © Ornulf Opdahl

Paul Gallagher captures his distant winter horizons by reinventing his sketches or digital camera shots with sand, soil or whatever natural materials come to hand. His work is small scale yet creates endless voids and illusions of eternity.

Sophie Benson’s images are often compared to daguerrotypes – early 19th century photographs. Her images seem almost suspended in time, appearing as floating particles of pigment or frozen relics of a disappearing world.

a painting of an iceberg in an icy sea with a rose tinged sky

Sophie Benson, Floating Island. © Sophie Benson

Photographs of Brita Granström, caught painting outside whatever the weather, portray the artist’s dedication to her art. Oblivious to the energy of nature around her, she reflects a raw sense of the elements in the paint strokes, shapes and colours of her work.

This underlying theme gives a strong feeling of nature burgeoning, decaying and indefatigably renewing itself.

a painting of a wintry snow filled pathway through fileds of grass beneath a leaden sky

Paul Gallagher, Path Through the Gorse, Waldridge Fell. © Paul Gallagher

Ørnulf Opdahl’s paintings are a world away from the picturesque certainties of Nordic stereotypes. His vision of nature has an air of menace about it - even the gentlest light can prelude a violent storm.

Themes of erasure and reconstruction are explored in Dale Atkinson’s work – the narrative of the painting’s history with its hidden experiences, apprehensions and perceptions reveal the volatile and changing world of nature, each scene infused with memory, association and unique history.

He does not paint recognisable topographies; his world is as contrary as that of Alice in Wonderland.

a grey painting that mimics grey sheets of rain

Dale Atkinson, Rain. © Dale Atkinson

These artists are united by their experimentation - using their eyes and senses they allow the visitor to travel into visionary landscapes from a wintery world.

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