VIDEO works by photographer Simon Warner are interspersed with a fine selection of landscape paintings from the Kirklees Permanent Collection in the latest exhibition at Huddersfield Art Gallery.
A landscape photographer who has increasingly turned to video works, Simon has used the theme of walking for his efforts, which include recent pictures of a compulsive walker, dressed as a monk, who has been seen across West Yorkshire, but more recently in the Bradford area.
Apparently he has attracted a following on Facebook, where he is known as Bradford’s Jesus Man.
“I didn't realise Huddersfield had such a large collection of 19th century watercolours, with fantastic works by Turner and Constable and I decided to follow the theme of the figure in the landscape”, said Simon.
His slide show, Labyrinth, shows Julian’s Bower, a turf maze overlooking Trent Falls at Alkborough, North Lincolnshire. Its circular route is similar to a floor design in Chartres Cathedral that pilgrims used to follow, sometimes on their knees as penance, piety or meditation.
In his long video, Ruskin’s View, Simon chooses, for some reason, not to show the view but just the activities of people looking out over it.
In an audio work, In the Woods, heard through headphones, he took a walk with a nature lover.
“He is talking on a woodland walk, as kind of meditation”, Simon explains.
Quotes from John Milton, Charlotte Bronte, and other famous names are included in 11 projected texts about walking, art and landscape.
Simon’s exhibition is titled Walking Out and is the first of a series of six shows, partly funded by the Arts Council, and taking place over the next 18 months, in which regional artists have been invited to engage with, and respond to the Art Gallery’s collection.
The overall title is Dialogues, and the next exhibition will feature Leeds-based sculptor Sheila Gaffney, and include examples of work by Huddersfield-born Carl Plackman (June 27 to August 22).
r OIL paintings by the late Walter Albert Williams, who died last year, make a handsome exhibition at Frames and Galleries, Grove Road, off Leeds Road (next to PC World).
Walter, a native of Worcester, spent most of his life in Bradford. He made many visits to Cornwall, where he came into contact with the St Ives School. Here was where he found the main inspiration for his landscapes.
He had a passion for boats, skies and still life, and the exhibition shows how successful he was - the Duke of Devonshire was one of his clients. Walter dies at the age of 82, and a lot of the paintings on view were completed during the last few years.
They say every good painter should be a good copier and I enjoyed this pictures of Venice (after Renoir) and of Madame Renoir.
After Brueghel, with its windmill and small figures, shows the quality of Walter’s detailed brushwork, inspired by the great Flemish painter, but he also seems at home with some coarse brushwork, as in his English Rural Scene and Sunday Promenade, with its parasol-toting ladies.
The boat paintings are always successful. The Coast of Brittany and Dutch Boats at Anchor are substantial works, but smaller efforts like the Italian coast, Amalfi and the Lagoon (Venice) reveal the same skills.
The exhibition runs until mid May.