Northampton artist celebrated

The artwork to be displayed
The artwork to be displayed

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery will be running an event on Thursday April 28 following the donation of a painting by celebrated local artist Chris Fiddes.

The oil painting, Winter Traffickers off Lampadusa, is a huge dramatic picture and was based on a human response to the news of Syria and the refugee crisis.

The event hosted by art collector John Glover, will see Fiddes picking and discussing his top 10 pictures from a retrospective of his work due to be held at the newly refurbished museum.

With a career spanning over 60 years Chris Fiddes has amassed an impressive body of work that graces the walls of public galleries and private collectors across the globe.

On leaving college Fiddes was a lyric landscapist working in an almost abstract manner, but his National Service, as part of the Northamptonshire Regiment in the mid-1950s, was to change him profoundly as an artist.

Writing later about his experience, Fiddes said: “Service life persuaded me that to paint pictures that were of relevance to only a small group of artistically aware cognoscenti was an arrogance, and not what art should be about, and I emerged from the forces as a sort of social realist.”

Over the course of his career Fiddes has also taught art at schools, colleges and universities, pioneered research into the painting methods of the great masters, been a war artist, championed causes for the rural environment, restored listed buildings and designed stained glass windows for many churches in Northamptonshire. Now aged 78 he continues to paint on most days.

Most of his paintings since have been concerned with either social comment or metaphors for social situations.

Councillor Brandon Eldred, cabinet member for community engagement, said: “We are delighted to receive this donation at the museum and art gallery from Chris Fiddes and look forward to welcoming him to our event at the end of April. It is sure to be a great occasion for art enthusiasts and our many visitors.”

Art collector and host of the museum event, John Glover, said: “Chris is an extraordinary man and a great artist. His analysis and artistic portrayal of modern times and the human condition, along with his vision of the nature and importance of art have already influenced and inspired several generations of artists. I feel sure that the masterly skill and power of his work will eventually ensure the widespread recognition of his unique contribution to the history of art in our time.”

It runs from 7pm and entrance is £5. Ring 01604 837397 to book.