"Spirit of Gledhow: Visions of the Valley" is the title of an exhibition of paintings and forms the culmination of an intense period of artistic activity by the locally resident artist Michael Freeman. A selection of paintings from this exhibition are shown below.
The Gledhow valley in North Leeds is a remarkable and very beautiful stretch of woodland slicing through the suburban sprawl. Ancient and intense, the valley is deeply scored by Gledhow Beck, a small stream that cuts its way through the base rock, coursing above and below the ground toward the valley lake.
Rich and luminous, fully exploiting the qualities of oil colour, these evocations of water, air, light, earth, spirit and soul seek to portray a sense of the valley's mystery through the effects of dazzling light and impenetrable shade.
The power of such places have long been felt and understood as important. The Celts for example venerated such places as the meeting point of the material world and the world of spirit, heartfelt intuitions whose force is present even today.
A lifelong inspiration to Freeman, the hugely influential nineteenth century English painter J. M. W. Turner visited and painted in the valley in 1816 . His predominant concern with the effect of light through air on water and on land is echoed in Freeman's paintings alongside his freedom of paint handling and sense of spirit of place and time.
Michael Freeman lives and paints on the edge of the valley. Lecturing in art at Leeds Metropolitan university , where he studied Fine Art as an undergraduate, he holds a Master's degree in Art History and is currently researching a PhD into his own painting practice.
For more information about Michael's work, including how to purchase his paintings, please contact Michael directly at the following address:
34 Stainburn Road, Leeds LS17 6NN
Tel: (0113) 269 8977