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Five years in the making: Steve des Landes exhibition at the Williamson Art Gallery

A solo exhibition opened last Friday of paintings from artist Steve des Landes, five years in the making.

Painter, Steve des Landes has lived close to the Williamson Art Gallery in Birkenhead for several years and won the Williamson Open in 2015. Despite showing his work elsewhere in Liverpool and London, he has not had a solo show in Wirral.  The Williamson Art Gallery are delighted to open their involvement with Wirral’s 2018 Year of Culture and Creativity with his extensive exhibition Un-settled. The display is also part of Liverpool 2018, the beginning of ten years of culture, creativity and new visitors to the Liverpool City Region.

He has created the works for Un-settled, working diligently in his studio over the past five years. His work reflects his emotional journey from a childhood in coastal Southport and the significant influences of an urban adulthood in Liverpool and Birkenhead.

Colin Simpson, principal museums officer for the Wirral Museums Service who has curated this exhibition says of Steve’s work:-

“Constantly aware of the passage of time, Steve des Landes has developed and grown in the last few years of dedicated work, making paintings that continue to intrigue. They burrow into bizarre corners of life while appearing straightforward. The people shown live their lives, but there is always a feeling of another world not seen, shadows falling across the eyes betraying secrets, or at the very least thoughts, yet to be revealed. Nobody in these paintings is quite comfortable: therein lies their tension and their fascination. They are unsettled and they communicate their restlessness to us.” In addition to Steve's work, photographer, James Deegan has an exhibition of his work of portraits of people connected with the gallery including staff and visitors in the exhibition space around The Williamson Cafe showing the creative and community hub that the Williamson has become since its fight to remain open. There will also be the first of two exhibitions by painter Will C Penn who was a significant member of the creative community in Wirral last century. He taught several generations of painters at Liverpool School of Art between 1911 and 1946 and dominated the art scene in Wirral by force of his personality, in effect founding the Wirral Society of Arts in 1948.