Colour shines through in art centre exhibition

Greek island seascape by Martin Elvery
Greek island seascape by Martin Elvery

Light, shade and colour shines through in a new exhibition of paintings by Banbury Guardian reporter Martin Elvery and his dad Tony Elvery which opens at Banbury’s Mill Arts Centre on July 1.

Martin will be displaying a series of landscape paintings completed over the past 15 years alongside works by his Portsmouth-based father Tony Elvery, also a keen painter.

The works are mainly inspired by the pair’s love of harmonious landscapes, the purity of sunlight and the mystery of shadow that can often be found in them and many are influenced by Martin’s younger years spent travelling and teaching in Greece.

Martin explained: “I’ve pretty much been drawing and painting all my life since my dad, who is a keen artist, started showing me how to draw and as a child I was rarely without a sketchbook and a packet of colour pencils.

“Both dad and I have always been fascinated by landscapes, especially the mystery of an evening forest with the sunlight threading through the trees or the beauty of sparkling light off the seas near our home town of Fareham. I remember lots of long evening walks when we would talk about our ideas.”

Tony studied art at school and completed a college course as an adult, while Martin did A-Level art before periods spent travelling and teaching English in Greece where he was inspired by the intense light of the Greek landscapes. He said: “A lot of my work has been inspired by my time in Greece because the landscapes out there are just so perfect and the light is so clear. I spent a lot of time painting out there on lazy afternoons between teaching lessons and the whole landscape is so magical with a sense of its history and mythology lurking just beneath the surface.”

Tony’s landscapes are inspired by trips to Italy, Austria and the Channel Islands.

Martin added: “We’ve waited ages to get enough work for an exhibition as it’s hard to fit painting in between work and life, but we’ve remained committed to it somehow.”

The exhibition runs from July 1-26.

A total of 50 per cent of the money from all works sold will go to the Stroke Association.