Reflections at the Gallery (acrylic paint on paper and cellophane)
Inspired by… the gallery glass atrium and Adolphe Valette's Windsor Bridge on the Irwell, 1909
“The construction of the Art Gallery is a fascinating space and I am intrigued by the fact a street once ran through the glass atrium. The atrium is the hub of the gallery with people passing through above and below. It struck me as particularly beautiful on a rainy day. You want to look out, in and beyond. The paintings of Manchester really belong there. Valette’s work seemed to be almost abstract or ecclesiastical and shimmering.
I wanted to look again at the vibrancy of the city especially a gallery and its links to the past and present. I saw a young man in a black pull on hat in the gallery and he reminded me of Valette’s bowler hated figures. I painted the bridge and lift on to acetate and superimposed them on my picture. It amused me to put the bowler-hatted man in the lift and the shawled figure still walking along the road. I took liberties rearranging features and painted freely.
Tours and talks have helped me to appreciate all art more especially the philosophy behind new works in various media. I enjoy wandering round alone, but I don’t feel alone.
I had only viewed Valette’s work as nostalgic pieces before. Making sketches alongside others I looked more at his flowing lines. A-level art and life classes have inspired me to paint.”
Mary Marsland attended the Life Class at Burnley College.