"Black Country Vista" BBC TV 1985

THE OLDNALL WORK 1981 – 1985

Oldnall Hill is a prominence to the East of Lye in the West Midlands that affords a panoramic view of a large section of that area to the North-West of Birmingham which is known as “The Black Country” because of its involvement in mining, smelting, steelmaking,and heavy engineering during the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th Centuries. It was this view which occupied, almost exclusively, my artistic attention during the years 1981 – 1985.

It was a difficult period of my life. The year 1981 saw me divorced with custody of three children aged 4, 8 and 12, but somehow the extra responsibilities thrust upon me, together with my full time job as Head of the Art Department at Redditch College made me all the more determined to pursue my role as an artist as well as that of parent and lecturer.

Panoramic views have held a fascination for me since childhood. What began as a chance Saturday afternoon sketching expedition followed by a few, random, impressionistic studies rapidly developed into an intensive topographical and visual survey of the landscape,  using “on the spot” drawing and painting techniques to record the changes wrought upon it by seasonal and climatic change, and the passage of time.   The resulting body of work was exhibited at Dudley Art Gallery under the title of “A View of the Black Country from Oldnall” and received considerable press and television coverage.