About Gordon Coldwell
I was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne (UK) in 1954. My mother was Dutch and could draw well. Both of these facts are significant in terms of influences and experiences.
As a teenager my summer holidays were spent in the Dutch seaside town of Scheveningen (my mother’s birthplace). We would stay with my grandmother and visit relatives... great uncles who collected stamps and painted everyday objects in the style of 17th century artists... an uncle who was a graphic designer. They had landscape and still life paintings on their walls.
Scheveningen is close to the Hague and Amsterdam an easy train journey away. Both places have world famous art galleries that I visited with a Dutch cousin. To this day, my experience of seeing Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and standing in front of Rembrandt’s The Night Watch has stayed with me.
My art teacher at secondary school was a graduate of Newcastle University. He had been taught by Richard Hamilton (Pop Artist) and Victor Pasmore (Formal Abstraction). We went to exhibitions at the University’s Hatton Gallery to see exhibitions of work by Kurt Schwitters (Merz/Dada Art) and John Heartfield (Anti Nazi Montage/Collage Art).
All of these early experiences had a major impact on my career choice and still inform the artworks I make.
My work is an eclectic mix of approaches and subject matter with lots of autobiographical references. Much of the work might be described as ‘Art About Art’, multi-layered in construction and potential meaning.
Many of my artworks are made by importing original and sourced pictorial content into two kinds of image manipulating software, the composition is then constructed, developed and finessed digitally.
I see the digital stage of my work as a form of ‘under-painting’... when outputted onto canvas, I then hand-paint significant areas of the composition in a final development stage in which colour pigment and textural elements are added.
All of my artworks on The Apple Gallery site are posted/shipped to buyers unframed in robust cardboard tubes.
Some of my Art Heroes
Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Vermeer, Frans Hals, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Diego Velasquez, George Stubbs, Théodore Gericault, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Eugène Delacroix, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, Kurt Schwitters, Marcel Duchamp, Andrew Wyeth, Victor Pasmore, Jim Dine, Larry Rivers, Richard Hamilton, Peter Blake.
In the past 2 years, have exhibited in solo and group shows (and on occasions won awards) at: Worthing Museum & Art Gallery (West Sussex), Ilminster Arts Centre, The Tacchi Morris Centre (Taunton), The Sugar Cube Gallery (Hambridge, Somerset), The Great Bow Wharf (Langport, Somerset), Artifex Gallery (Sutton Coldfield) , Thelma Hulbert Gallery (Honiton), Black Swan Arts Centre (Frome), The Atkinson Gallery (Millfield), Evolver Cover Exhibitions (Weassex), Bernie Grant Centre (Tottenham), Blue Cedar Printworks Gallery (Glastonbury)… and CICCIC (Creative Innovation Centre, Taunton).
1976 - I graduated from The University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Education Honours Degree.
1976/78 - Teacher of Art in a Secondary School in Gloucester
1979/86 - Art & Design Lecturer at West Sussex College of Design
1987/96 - Head of Art & Design at Bridgwater College
1996/2007 - Marketing Manager at Bridgwater College
2009 - Interim Head of Marketing Somerset College of Arts & Design
2007/14 - Branding & Marketing Business Owner
2014 to Present – Full Time Artist