In preparing this post I thought a lot about a picture of the Welsh mountains that used to hang over the fireplace of our family home in West Lancashire, that would remind me each morning as I got ready for school or in the evening stretched out on the rug underneath it of those places we would get to through the Mersey Tunnel, the traffic jams on the coast road, and the views across to Anglesey, squat and lazy, and seemingly floating in the Irish Sea.
The painting was by Rob Piercy, someone who I also met as a child through my parents, and who was the subject of an interesting coincidence not long after I had met my partner Katrin. At that point Katrin was studying at Warwick University, and her parents and sister flew out from Berlin to spend a week or so in North Wales. During that time they took a day trip to Porthmadog, where they spent an hour or so admiring the work of a local artist in his gallery. On their return to Berlin they told me about this gallery, and a crumpled flyer in the back pocket confirmed what I had suspected from the moment they began to describe the work. A year or so later I was able to show Katrin’s parents that Rob Piercy painting from my childhood, now hanging at dad’s house in Belfast.
If you visit Rob’s website you can see why he is regarded as one of the United Kingdom’s top mountain painters, and as a keen mountaineer himself, it is obvious that the landscape has inspired his work in a way that allowed the finished piece to inspire me and all those who experience it. Rob has recently published a book on the town of Portmerion, some images from which you can see illustrating this post, and until the end of September it is possible to see the originals from the book in an exhibition at his gallery.
Words: Paul Scraton
Artwork: Rob Piercy