Landscapes of artist Christopher P Wood depict suburbia as an earthy paradise

PUBLISHED: 11:24 31 January 2016

The Old Road by Christopher P Wood

The Old Road by Christopher P Wood

Archant

A captivating display of the painter’s work is on display at Sylvester Fine Art in Belsize Village, writes Alison Oldham.

The enigmatic and atmospheric landscapes of Christopher P Wood make a captivating display at Sylvester Fine Art in Belsize Village. Wood’s paintings portray an earthly paradise visualised in suburban Leeds, his hometown. After studying at Chelsea College of Art in the 1980s, he returned there “to hone what is now a refined technique and to speak with his own voice”, according to writer and broadcaster Ian

Skelly.

He wrote a thought-provoking introduction to Wood’s work in 2007, saying he believes his artistic voice speaks of reality as rooted in the spiritual realm: “It explores that level of experience which is unfettered by the outer metering of time and space in landscapes which echo an archaic depth and luminous mystery.”

Wood integrates Yorkshire’s dramatic open spaces and their wide skies with romantic fantasies of his own devising. His early work owes much to influences of early Italian and Dutch landscape paintings. “So the same simplicity in his images stands in stark contract and challenges the rampant ego-mania of our day,” says Skelly.

He is impressed by the care Wood takes in priming canvases, often four times over, and by his techniques for blending paints to produce a satin finish to his skies: “He builds his pictures in such a way that once begun each must be finished in a single sitting which creates a tension that is emotionally draining.” A good reason to visit this enterprising gallery which specialises in 20th and 21st century European art and modern ceramics. Until February 14 at 64 Belsize Lane NW3. Wednesday to Friday 11am to 6.30pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm, Sunday 10am to 4pm.

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