30 November 2011

Grey skies of Co. Down

I recently spent time in the Ulster Hospital, on the edge of Belfast. Hung in one corridor is canvas from 1971 by Colin Middleton, Co. Down. It is a landscape. Semi-abstracted shapes in the foreground evoked the granite base of the county, small allotments of hard ground. Dark mountainous shapes in the back succeed, I think, in evoking the Mountains of Mourne. Perhaps this evocation is even better made by the negative space hovering between the mountains. The wide valley is filled with grey sky and cloud.

Sorry about the reflections, it was hard to find a good angle to photograph this painting.

Outside the Ulster Hospital.

There is something recognisable in the steep profiles of the mountains as painted by Middleton. Also, the grey shade of the sky feels utterly exact. Stepping outside the main entrance to the Ulster Hospital I'm greeted by a slab of Down stratus, its grey a good match for Middleton's.