WALKING FROM HOME / THE SEAS ARE RISING by Martin Greenland

Brantwood is delighted to welcome back Martin with a new collection of his wonderfully evocative landscape paintings.

 

I didn’t choose to be a landscape painter. I wanted to keep away from it because, like many over the 20th century and beyond, I thought it to be old-fashioned, the preserve of amateurs. I had been a figure painter until art college which shook me up so much that it took a retreat into photography to metamorphosise me into the painter I am now. In photography, I recorded my solitary experiences, cycling the roads and lanes of Wessex. I became increasingly interested in the details but also the ordinary in the landscape. I recorded objects in their surroundings which would later make me analyse why I was drawn to such things. There was a lot of nostalgia, often a criticism, especially of the British and something I believed I couldn’t talk about in art college. We were supposed to always be modernists. I soon realised that my curiosity with a great deal I was seeing stemmed from early childhood. As the years have passed, I have come to realise that the immediate now is the only thing we can have a chance of being certain. The future will come but it doesn’t exist just as the passed doesn’t. The past is memory and would remain entirely that if we didn’t have modern ways of recording some of it. Yet the past is all we have to use; it is what we base our actions now, upon, and what we have experienced shapes us all.

Returning to painting, I emerged warily with modest paintings, expecting to be roasted by my tutors; the opposite was the case. I was encouraged to believe that I was producing something little seen, genuinely felt and personal; invented landscapes filled with details and perhaps, ultimately, meaning which were a true poetic expression of all my thoughts, ideas, concepts, emotions and atmospheres, all interlinked and difficult, as I find even now, writing this, to easily sum up. It is a difficult territory in which to work. Landscape painting is still seen as peripheral, outdated, the stuff of amateurs and unimportant in the international language of contemporary art and of important issues.

WALKING FROM HOME is a growing body of paintings featuring ‘real’ and invented or re-invented landscapes. I have spent 35 years producing increasingly convincing landscapes which are entirely fictional, just as a novelist invents and like a novel, they are rooted in reality, obeying the science of matter. Recently my growing love of my adopted home (I have lived in the actual Lake District National Park for 24 years, Cumbria for 36 years) and an unexpected interested in painting real landscapes or elements or parts of real landscapes, has resulted in the paintings of the last 18 months. These landscapes are not the obvious tourist views, though they could be if I wanted to, but are places which I have grown to know well. Through walking, I have gradually pieced together, like a jigsaw puzzle, the landscape of the south of The Lakelands, especially of the Winster Valley, which I can walk into from home in Bowness on Windermere. I have long been introspective, enjoying, like Constable, the qualities of my immediate surroundings. I can imagine distant places but don’t have the wanderlust to visit them. For many years I have wished the greater public to get to know and learn to enjoy their own places too, not resorting to the ‘right’ to journey, as privileged Westerners, on polluting, interfering journeys. Now that situation has been forced upon us.

THE SEAS ARE RISING started as a rather superficial, vanity project – to combine the exquisite landscape of the Lake District with the exquisite seas of Cornwall or Pembrokeshire. It is an impossible situation of course. For it to happen would mean Ireland would have to disappear. The seas would have to rise too but as we know, this is happening and will continue to do so. It is a growing contemporary concern. There are, in my view, some very demanding and somewhat hysterical voices and I have my own, logical reasons to not belong to this camp. I am not running around shouting ”The Seas Are Rising!!”. However, painting the three works seen on the walls here left me with a very uneasy feeling of loss and dereliction, realising that I didn’t really want to witness the change to the landscape/seascape of which I have grown so fond. Climate change doesn’t just mean the rise of the seas but the disappearance of flora and fauna which we all hold dear. I worked tropical palms into the paintings but I know that for this to happen would really mean the end of our deciduous trees and even green fields.

The paintings are nonetheless successful. My works have been unpeopled since that metamorphosis at art college; this past year has brought an extra significance to those sometimes, lonely places. Otherwise busy places, thronging with human life have been left quite empty, quieter than at any time since the beginning  of the 19th century and probably quieter. Not only are they visually, formally, technically successful but now have added significance because of contemporary events.

 

Martin Greenland 21st April 2021

 

 

M A R T I N   G R E E N L A N D:     BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

 

“I think his painting is superb – the images a striking fusion of arresting myth and exquisite landscape – he gives great picture!”

                                                                                                                                                  Willy Russell

 

  • Born – Marsden, Yorkshire.

1979 – 1981    Studied Nelson and Colne College (Foundation course)

1982 – 1985    Exeter College of Art

                        Awarded First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art (Painting)

 

 

EXHIBITIONS LIST

 

 

JOINT EXHIBITIONS

 

2019                  Miniature, Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

Prized, New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham, Surrey

                          Unpicturesque, Heaton Cooper Archive Gallery, Grasmere

2018                  John Moores UK & China Prizewinners Show, Corke Art Gallery, Liverpool

Tatha Gallery, Newport on Tay, Fife

Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham, Surrey

2017                  Beaux Arts, Bath

2014                  Beaux Arts, Bath

2013                  Mixed exhibition, Corke Art Gallery, Liverpool

Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London

Dutch Italianates, Mall Galleries, London

                          GBS Fine Art, London Art Fair, Islington, London

2011                    i know a place, Flowers East, London

                          Charter of the Forest, Usher Art Gallery and Collection, Lincoln

12, Art Gallery at Rheged Exhibition Space, Cumbria

Flashback, 25 Years Anniversary Exhibition, Art Space Gallery, London

2010                 Places of the Mind, Art Space Gallery, London

Layers, John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize Show, Seongnam, South Korea

Up-Front Open, Up-Front Gallery, Cumbria

2009                 The Witherslack Group, Witherslack, Cumbria

2008                 Winter Journey, Art Space Gallery, Islington, London

Outside the Glass, Theatre by The Lake, Keswick, Cumbria

Signal Gallery, London

Red Barn, Melkinthorpe, Cumbria

The Witherslack Group, Cumbria

2007                 Beaux Art, Bath

The Lynn Painter-Stainers, Painters Hall, London

Daffodils, Rheged Exhibition Centre, Penrith and Farfield Mil, Sedbergh

Farfield Mill, Sedbergh

2006                 FIRST PRIZE WINNER John Moores 24

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Up Front Gallery, Hutton in the Forest, Cumbria

Finestra Gallery Kirkby Lonsdale Cumbria

Red Barn, Penrith

Meadowbank Barn, Curthwaite

2005                 Finestra Gallery, Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria

Meadowbank Barn, Curthwaite, Cumbria

Red Barn Gallery, Melkinthorpe, Cumbria

Up Front Gallery Hutton in the Forest Cumbria

2004                 The Witherslack Group, Witherslack, Cumbria

Pinfold Gallery, Bowness on Windermere, Cumbria

Manchester Art Fair

Meadowbank Barn, Curthwaite, Cumbria

Finestra Gallery Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria.

2003                 Farfield Mill, Sedbergh, Cumbria

Meadowbank Farm Studio, Curthwaite, Cumbria.

2000                 Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London.  PRIZE WINNER

1998 to present The Lake Artists Society Summer Exhibition, Grasmere

1997                 Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London.

1995 – 96          John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 19.  Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

1993 – 94          John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 18.  Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

1991 – 92          John Moores, Liverpool Exhibition 17. Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

1989 – 90          John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 16.  Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

1987                 Abbot Hall, Kendal

1985 – 86          Whitworth Young Contemporaries, Manchester.

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

 

2017                  New Work, Beaux Arts, Bath

2016                  I am (not) Making This Up, Corke Gallery, Liverpool

2016                  New Paintings, Castlegate House, Cockermouth, Cumbria

2015                  New Paintings, Beaux Arts, Bath

2015                  ONE TO ONE, The Blue Gallery, Brantwood, Coniston, Cumbria

2014                  Second Novels, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle

2012                  Inventions and Re-inventions, Corke Art Gallery, Liverpool

2011                  Uncharted Land, Art Space Gallery, London

2010                 New Fiction, Cornerstone Gallery, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool

2009                 Arrangements of Memory, Art Space Gallery, Islington, London

2008                 Wall of Silence, Brantwood, Coniston, Cumbria

2008                 Alexandra Gallery, University of Cumbria, Lancaster

2008                 11 Spitalfields Gallery, Spitalfields, London

2007                 Farfield Mill, Sedbergh

2005                 Ainscough Gallery, Liverpool

2003                 Private Exhibition, Windermere

2002                 Bruton Street Gallery, London

2001                 Liverpool, Private Exhibition

2000                 Piccadilly Gallery, Dover Street, London

1999                 Huddersfield Art Gallery

1998                 Ainscough Gallery, Liverpool

1997                 Piccadilly Gallery Cork Street, London

1996                 Ainscough Gallery, Liverpool

1995                 Lyth Gallery, Underbarrow, Kendal, Cumbria

1994                 Lyth Gallery, Underbarrow, Kendal, Cumbria

1993                 Low Crag, Crook, Kendal, Cumbria

1993                 Merkmal Gallery, Liverpool

1992                 Low Crag, Crook, Kendal, Cumbria

1988                 Charlotte Mason College, Ambleside, Cumbria

1987                 Gallery North, Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria.

 

  • 2014 North of England Regional Prize winner, Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London

 

  • 2006 First prize winner of the John Moores, 24 – Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

 

  • 2003 Commissioned to produce a painting of the newly re-built Paternoster Square, next to St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, which was presented to The Lord Mayor of London, and which now hangs in The Mansion House.

 

  • 2000 GCI Financial Purchase Prize at Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London.

 

  • Teaches oil painting part time as a specialist subject

 

Event Information

Date & Time:17th May - 20th July 2021

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