Peter Cunningham and Gordon Coulthart — Trainscapes and Crows
Vernissage: Saturday March 3, 2018, 6-9 pm
Show runs until April 13, 2018

Applecrate Galleries is proud to present a shared show featuring Peter Cunningham and Gordon Coulthart.

Crows are known for their intelligence and adaptability. The Train is an icon of humans’ intelligence and adaptability. So, it makes perfect sense to host a joint show of these two passionate artists. Peter Cunningham’s art shows his love of everything trains and Gordon Coulthart through his art, shares his fascination of crows.

We asked Peter “Why trains?”. The short, dismissive answer, is because he just likes the subject. But then on reflection he realizes what a powerful influence they had on him as a child growing up in the industrial heartland of England. That fascination returned later in life to become a recurring theme in his work. Not just the romance of the railway but specifically the living, breathing, steam locomotive, and how he interprets his emotive response to it, or maybe that child didn’t grow up completely. Peter’s love of trains and painting them led him to become an Associate Member of the Guild of Railway Artists and The American Society of Railway Artists.

Peter Cunningham was born in Birmingham, England, in 1951. At the age of thirteen his family moved from the industrial Midlands to rural Staffordshire. There he developed an affinity with the fields and lanes of the surrounding countryside and discovered the richness of the English landscape painting tradition.

After completing high school, Peter enrolled at the Stafford College of Art, where he honed his natural abilities, sound drawing skills and a strong sense of colour and design. He continued his art education at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London, England, studying fine art painting and drawing. With his formal education behind him, Peter, with his wife Gail, set up a studio in their first home, a converted canal narrowboat.

In 1984 Peter and his family moved to Canada. He is now a Canadian citizen and lives in Ottawa, Ontario, working at his busy Bells Corners studio. He is represented by galleries in Ottawa, Calgary, Montreal and Saint John and is included in many private collections in Canada, England and the United States.

My art reflects my long personal journey of discovery through life. My seemingly random subjects are just that; yet there is always something in them, be it visual, emotional or spiritual, that speaks to me and it is that discourse, that dialogue with the subject that I strive to interpret. My perception, my emotional response and the unsure nature of the process is where the art is formed. The struggle is in trying to express that emotional response to the subject, within the constraints of the medium.
– Peter Cunningham

Gordon Coulthart is an Ottawa artist originally from Morewood Ontario. He started his career as a commercial illustrator and went on to work in cartoon animation. He specialized as a background painter, in water colours and acrylics. Gordon has worked on hundreds of animated series. Gordon co-created the syndicated cartoon,’ Farcus’, as well as designing and creating Family Channel’s Gemini award-winning series, ‘King’. He went on to co-own and was the creative drive behind Fun Bag Animation Studios. Gordon’s paintings have been featured in a number of one-man shows in Ottawa.

Gordon’s personal passion has always been painting and cartoons. His landscapes try to capture the rugged beauty of the Ottawa Valley, especially the individuality of the trees. Being a cartoonist at heart, Gordon loves to bring his humour to the canvas in his cartoon paintings.

The Crow is a symbol of romance. It is an ancient tale waiting to be told. The image of the crow has always fascinated me because of the silhouette. The crow cuts a hole in the sky, its image lends itself to design. When I paint the crow, I try to capture the elegance, the strength, and the humour it represents. Every culture sees the crow as a different kind of messenger, the crow has been watching over us since the beginning of time. This show allows me to show you the crow though my eyes.
– Gordon Coulthart

The show Trainscapes and Crows will be open to the public starting on the evening of Saturday March 3rd from 6-9 pm. Both artists will be present on the evening of the vernissage, and all are welcome to enjoy the paintings, as well as some wine and other refreshments.

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