Rather unusually, the winter is one of my favourite times of the year; we continue with our daily lives but with the added interest of inclement and challenging weather. It is for me a time, which encourages contemplation of our landscape and the weather that influences it. To follow, there is then the optimistic lift of spring when colour is re-injected into the landscape and new growth is everywhere.
Last winter, together with my family, I visited the tiny, volcanic, mountainous island of La Gomera, in the Canaries, hoping for some warmer weather. However, much of our time was spent sheltering from rainstorms and gale force winds that whipped up the black sand and sent the palm trees into frenzied dances. Challenging as this was, there was something wonderful about the impact the weather had on the landscape. Enormous clouds tumbled into the rugged, volcanic peaks and it was apparent that the extremes of altitude influenced the weather and impacted on the geology and flora of the island as well as the people who live there.
For this exhibition, as well as work from La Gomera, I have returned to Snowdonia, Cornwall, the Bristol Channel and the South Devon coast to paint. Be it high up on Snowdon, or wave watching at sea level, it is the altitude that dictates the weather and environment. The land creates the weather and in turn, the weather moulds the land, and the cycle continues. These paintings are about expressing this cycle; the energy that the altitude of a place provides and the interaction of the land with the sky. It is fascinating, exciting, energising and most of all, out of human control, which is rather wonderful.
Anthony Garratt, April 2016