From Donegal to the Southern Hemisphere


Wednesday 13th September to
Saturday 30th September 2006

Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales

I was delighted to have the company of Alan Cotton last year as my tour artist on a trip to Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. A substantial part of this exhibition shows paintings recording his impressions of this journey.

Among the memorable spectacles he has captured is the colony of Northern Royal Albatrosses at Taiaroa Head, in New Zealand, and the dramatic coastline that provides a setting for them. He has managed to evoke very powerfully the evocative sight of the albatrosses, majestic in flight, soaring on the updraughts above the cliff edge. Other paintings are of the wild seas, pounding the coastline around the headline.

In Fiji Alan told me that the people, events and landscape provided him with a tremendous source of inspiration. He was able to travel up into the mountains at a time of rapidly changing weather, where the dark clouds and brilliant passages of light gave him the material for a series of smaller, but dramatic paintings, all done with consummate skill using a painting knife.

The Final group of canvases from Sri Lanka are much more gentle and thinly painted and are based on the views from the helicopter as we flew in the early morning from Colombo to Batticaloa. The dawn light breaking through the mists gave the landscape an ethereal quality which he captures so well in these paintings.

His pictures provide a nostalgic record of the tour and I am so glad that the exhibition will give a wider audience a chance to enjoy them.

Author, Journalist and Art Critic