Artist’s show brings 1950s Bolton to life
LEGACY Bryan Senior as a young artist in Victoria Square with his painting of Bolton Civic Centre in a photograph taken by the Bolton Evening News in 1954. Left, his 1959 painting Caroline Seated
Bryan Senior, aged 78, is displaying his exhibition entitled The Early Years: Paintings from 1958-61 at The Court Gallery in the Capital next month.
The paintings, which include a view from the artist’s own home in Albert Road West and a scene overlooking Deane Clough, were originally featured in a major exhibition in Bolton at The Art Gallery in 1961.
But Mr Senior, who now lives in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, says this exhibition, which also includes paintings from when he moved to London in 1957, will be the first time in more than 50 years he has seen them together.
Mr Senior said: “I used to love painting various parts of Bolton. I would go for walks with my dad, who was a tailor and worked in Bradshawgate, around Doffcocker Lodge and up to Rivington. There are some lovely walks from Chorley Old Road.
“I even did a large painting of the town hall, which appeared in The Bolton News in 1954.
“Sadly, I have not been back since I moved, but I would like to see how it has changed in all those years.”
Mr Senior started painting seriously at school when he was aged just 14 but it was another three years before he started painting his striking Bolton scenes.
He said: “There is a 1956 painting of the view of me looking across from my home in Albert Road West. I painted that when I was 17.
“That particular one features a prominent laburnum tree, although you can’t tell because it was painted in winter. I’m not sure if it will still be there as they don’t last very long.
“I’d always wanted to do something and painting my surroundings was what gave me inspiration. I like to identify with that because it means something to me.”
His early work mainly concentrates on scenes, including one of Deane Clough, where he uses a heavy impasto style to create highly textured paint surfaces.
Mr Senior said: “The style is something that just comes out naturally — like handwriting. You find a way of saying the best you can at that time. The way I’m painting now is much lighter than when I was painting in the Fifties.
“I can’t explain why but now they are more relaxed and less powerful. I suppose that is the passage of time.”
The exhibition will be displayed at The Court Gallery, Cork Street, London, between October 21 and 26.
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