I caught a glimpse of the artwork of Barry Wilson when I visited the Birley Centre for the wonderful OperaCoast Rake's Progress in July. My overall impression was of delicate scenes and a beautiful golden glow and I knew I'd have to go back for a proper look.
A graduate of Camberwell School of Art, Barry Wilson uses his knowledge of the south coast in his art, his most recent works being inspired by our sadly crumbling architecture and its graffiti. He is influenced by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright as well as the artists Peter Doig, Edward Hopper and Gerhard Richter. His use of gold leaf in his paintings makes for distinctive work and the effect was what I particularly liked at first and second viewings! Be sure not to miss the run of framed prints along the corridor up the steps and to the right of the main door as you enter the foyer.
My favourite images are the two inside the London Underground. Dave commented on how Wilson manages to make the scenes feel open and spacious although they should be claustrophobic. I also liked an enigmatic portrait of a couple sitting at a cafe table. He is smoking a cigarette, she appears lost in her own thoughts, and it is the sort of picture that could waste hours of being gazed at imagining the back story.
Birley Centre foyer, Saturdays and Sundays only until Sun 25th Aug, 11:00 - 16:00.