Colin Bygrave’s Etchings
CHRISTOPHER SMITH Salthouse Church
> Salthouse Church
The airy, light-flooded nave of Salthouse Church provides a fine setting for a most attractive exhibition of etchings by the Norfolk artist Colin Bygrave.
His main source of inspiration is the countryside, in East Anglia and further afield.
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One characteristic is a preference for viewpoints showing landscape features that lead the eye into the picture.
This is shown particularly well in 'Lonely Road, Lincolnshire'. The distance stretching out across the land from foreground to horizon seems immense.
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In the title of that picture, the word 'lonely' is perhaps hardly necessary. In Bygrave's rural world, people play little obvious part. But the feeling of prevailing emptiness is offset by a certain tension, as if nature was somehow haunted. Generally the scene is tranquil too, but storms rage on occasion, most impressively in the romantic 'Downs Landscape V'.
Bygrave sometimes turns from nature to architecture. 'King's Lynn', for instance, captures precisely the relationship between the quayside building and the water.
Mystery and a sense of brooding give life to a twilight study of Ely Cathedral.
Control in the choice of colours helps to bring out the character of Bygrave's interpretation of what he observes. Not for him anything garish; what he always likes are subtle shades of fawn, amber and green, of lilac and grey.
He uses too the techniques of etching to create a delicate dappled effect on every surface, except when creating stark outline patterns against a lighter background.
This very approachable show is open from 10am till 5pm every day until May 30. The way to the church is well signed from the coastal road.