Space and Light

Cuillin Bantock
Highgate Gallery
13 - 26 Sep 2024 -

A Day in the Life of Marram #2: watercolour on (cold-pressed 300g/m) paper 23.5×31.5cm.
© Cuillin Bantock 2023. All rights reserved

Gallery times: Wednesdays to Fridays 13:00-17:00,
Saturdays & Sundays 10:00-16:00
Mondays & Tuesdays Closed
Private View: Friday 13 September 2024 18:00-20:30

This exhibition, Cuillin Bantock’s fourth at Highgate Gallery, will be the culmination of sixty-five years of experience as a visual artist.

Bantock’s work is all landscape-based.  Life-long familiarity with a particular coastal sand-dune system in North Wales is a persistent point of reference.  His choice of media is wide-ranging and includes oil paint, acrylic, gouache, conte and linocut. His approach has shifted from representation to abstraction, but he strongly believes that all art must relate to something outside itself.

The exhibition will show two types of work: Indian Ink drawings, and watercolour paintings.

The Indian ink drawings are from the 2022 series ‘Forty-one approaches to a View’.  The ‘view’ is of a particular duneland studied repeatedly from the same spot. The emphasis has been on making quite simple statements about that particular space. The first studies that Bantock made of this terrain (also in Indian ink) date from 1961. It was only while making the recent drawings in 2022 that he realised that other artists, in their later years, had adopted a similar approach; for example Hokusai, with his ‘Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji’.

The watercolours were made between 2020 and 2024.  These are derived from the same landscape as the ink drawings, but with a particular emphasis on pictorial space (through flatness) and pictorial light (through colour), but handled abstractly without reference to specific locales.  To some extent the watercolours are a new departure for Bantock.  His only previous experience with the medium was very occasional figurative work (again, of duneland).  He describes watercolour as ‘the most challenging medium of all.’

The two bodies of work are united by a perennial search for clarity of execution and expression, and pictorial economy free of didacticism, leaving room for spontaneity.

Llandanwg: watercolour on paper 27.5×38.5cm. © Cuillin Bantock 2023. All rights reserved.

Cuillin Bantock has enjoyed a rich and varied career as artist, scientist, educator and writer. He is an Oxford-trained zoologist who worked as a professional biologist for 20 years, and later studied at Camberwell College of Art.  He has written and lectured extensively on a wide range of subjects, including science, wildlife conservation, art and artists.

His work has been exhibited widely over many years, and is held in a large number of private and corporate collections.

Highgate Gallery is delighted to be hosting this exhibition, which Bantock has decided – as he approaches his ninetieth birthday – shall be his last with us.


For further information about Space and Light: Cuillin Bantock

The Exhibition co-ordinator: Beth Robertson