Tag: Hale

Lux Perpetua

A new site-specific light installation designed to invoke the genius loci of a place. Lux Perpetua is designed to create a faint, yet persistent presence in a largely forgotten landscape feature; a suggestion of the spirit thereabouts and the lives within.

The Watcher

In the distance of this painting the distant brotherly hills of Frodsham and Helsby sit under a late autumn sky and if you listen carefully you might hear sounds of geese and other autumn passage migrants making their way along the Mersey Estuary. Someone in the reedbeds is waiting patiently, but is he watching, or being watched?

Phos Hilaron

This is a winter painting whose origins however were an autumnal walk along Withins Way, the path that leads from Hale Village to the ancient fording place on the Mersey, at the river’s southern narrows where the county of Lancashire tentatively meets Cheshire at Runcorn.

Call of the Curlew

No other British bird has such a distinctive call, one which is often described as a liquid, bubbling, trill and most evocatively – plaintive, a word that is so seldom used in modern speech to be almost synonymous with this species. Perhaps the sound of the curlew cannot be dissociated from the land, for very often the birds can be fugitive and the tell-tale sign is only the slowly decaying and mournful cadence of its call. In this painting therefore I have sought to unify its call with a landscape in which it resides.

Painting depicting a sonograph of the Curlew
Call of the Curlew

To help transpose the sound into a tangible metaphor I have used the sonograph of its call and locked it within the roost of the duck decoy as if a wasp preserved in amber. The peaks and troughs of its mournful call can then be forever preserved in the broken backbone of trees at Hale and the light emanating from the watery pools is something to do with the spirit of the birds and that which gave voice to it.

Call of the Curlew
oil on canvas 765x510mm (2016)

There is a setting by Warlock of a poem by Yeats that deals far more eloquently with this subject; better still to search for the sound on the Mersey – or just listen:

Hale, Mersey, Full of Grace

Hale, Mersey exhibition title, 2017

Cass Art Space, Liverpool, UK
9th – 22nd January 2017

Why do certain places appear to have a tangible, yet indefinable sense of significance?

Contemporary artist John Elcock examined this phenomenon with an exhibition of new paintings at Cass Art Space Liverpool, which responded to Hale village through its landscape and remarkable birdlife.

Hale, Mersey, Full of Grace featured a series of works that had developed from a year exploring the coastline of this isolated yet beautiful landscape situated less than ten miles from the centre of Liverpool.

Paintings and drawings revealed enigmatic landscape features such as Hale’s historic duck decoy and abandoned wartime structures on the shoreline. He also incorporated into his work species he had observed whilst walking the Mersey estuary and which characterise the area as an important SSSI.

The exhibition included a unique set of bird ikons. John commented:
‘There is something special in the nature of birds which bridges the Divine and the Temporal. The iconographic paintings are my attempt to realise this and return something of their generosity throughout my many visits to Hale’.

Cass Art Space, Liverpool

Cass Art Space, Liverpool (Jan 2017): Hale, Mersey, Full of Grace

For exhibition information visit Cass Art Space, Liverpool and ArtRabbit

An Exhibition Catalogue is also still available.