News From MAFA Member John Sprakes – Winner of the MAFA Travel Bursary 2015
” Hadrians Wall stretches approx. 35 miles from Wallsend in Newcastle to Bowness on the west. It snakes its way over some of the most dramatic landscape in England. It is the result of geological volcanic land movement causing substantial windsill. The views from each side of the Roman wall offer some exceptional visual vistas.This are has been a constant source of inspiration and the Bursary has enabled me to continue working in this area. I have been visually fascinated by the colours, textures, structures and rythms and the constantly changing moods and atmospheres.
This ancient landscape has inspired many of my recent paintings which are composed by looking down into the valley escarpments and ravines. It’s almost like viewing the scene from the air.
The movement of the shapes as they recede towards the horizon, folding upwards towards the sky, feature compositionally in many of my drawings, studies and paintings.
I have already exhibited some of the completed work in a one-man show at the Patchings Arts Centre, Nottingham. I was able to promote the work of MAFA both during the show and at two workshops/studio demonstrations.
During my stay in Northumberland I have used a converted Signal Box and Railway Carriage as a work base.
I intend to make two more visits to the location in September and March/ April next year.
This will allow me to watch the changing seasons.
The whole area is full of light and movement, the changing scale and the intense texture of the area are emotionally moving and inspiring and I hope my paintings will offer to the spectator a personal view of this remarkable landscape.
The ‘Artist Magazine’ are intending to feature a substantial article in the February edition Â relating to the work produced in Northumberland.
In January 2016, some of the paintings will also be exhibited in Doncaster City Art Gallery from January to March and I will inform Members as to the date and time of the Private View. Anyone wishing to attend will be most welcome.
I will continue to keep the Academy informed as to my future progres”
“My second trip to the landscape around Hadrian’s Wall has enabled me to revisit areas and discover visually familiar elements seen during the season of autumn.
The landscape had changed, the colours, textures, patterns, light and atmosphere had deepened in mood, particularly the effect of the passages of light caused by the movement of clouds across the hills and valleys, changing the surface of the landscape.
It was a challenge trying to capture and record through drawing this visual experience.
I hope that I can translate these experiences on to canvas.
I plan to return in the spring to continue my investigation.”