In an artworld overwhelmingly concerned with the urban, what can a 'return to nature' mean for a contemporary painter? How can an engagement with the grand tradition of English landscape painting be negotiated at a time when climate change is making the natural world a source of awe and anxiety?
To unearth a rich affinity with the rural that reaches beyond the bland and re-connects with the troubling majesty of Turner's landscapes requires a painter with both experience and guts. Colin Halliday was born and bred in Cumbria, and having worked on cityscapes for many years, has now moved to the Derbyshire countryside. With his signature vitality and skill, his new landscapes emanate a freshness and force that speaks directly to the viewer. In the paintings exhibited in this show, nature is neither distant nor merely pretty.
Stirred by the atmospheric and dramatic, Halliday is a Romantic in the true sense of the word, yet his instinct for conveying the immediacy of the elemental is channelled through his painterly dexterity. His 'return to nature' is resulting in paintings that shine with energy and light.