The Manger Gallery is a small, atmospheric Gallery housed in a 19th century stable, part of my family home on the edges of Kings Newton and Melbourne, Derbyshire. Often dream-like and densely atmospheric, the imagery in my drawings and paintings is an imaginative distillation of memories and sensations of the gardens, orchards, fields and lanes of my childhood here in Derbyshire. This work has obvious links with British Neo-Romanticism; wandering figures on long journeys, aspects of nature as metaphors for human joy and sorrow, animal and human figures expressive of mystery and spiritual longing. In turn this Romanticism spills over into work that is closer to the Visionary tradition of British art, highly personal interpretations of traditional christian themes and theological ideas. The over-arching feeling is often melancholy, quietly joyful, contemplative, soulful.
The Manger Gallery also seeks to draw attention to a handful of regional artists whose work links with concerns evident in my own, in special themed exhibitions. Work in the British Romantic tradition, with a strong narrative or literary dimension, visionary, spiritual or religious themes, decorative aspects, connecting inner and outer worlds, unafraid to draw upon art of the past. This is bold, imaginative, highly individual work, eschewing wooly or abstruse ‘concepts’ and instead exploring big ideas and personal visions in accessible and beautiful ways, with media including paintings and drawings, print-making, lettering, sculpture and ceramics.