Modern ArtWork'Aerial lV', Gerry Halpin.

Reading recently ‘Out Of This Century, Confessions Of An Art Addict’, an autobiography of the late Peggy Guggenheim, who was an amazing woman, collector of contemporary art and indomitable supporter of many now famous artists, whose gallery in Venice I’ve visited, I came across a very pertinent comment which she wrote.

Flying over San Francisco, she noted how spectacular the view from above was and later over Utah seeing how marvellous the scenery was, miles of land covered in salt where the sea had receded and stretches of blue and purple water. It was better than any painting, she concludes, the colours were so delicate and the expanse so vast.

This is a wonderful coincidence of experience in that my own paintings of the landscape observed from above, were inspired after a return flight I made from San Francisco, especially noting the vastness and drama of the marks on the plains of Utah.

Such a subject had not been painted before her comment was written and so her view was fair for the time, but if she were with us now I would show her my painting and agree with her that the world from an aerial perspective is indeed truly unique and a realisable source of artistic inspiration.

Seeing such things gave a whole new direction to my painting and I feel excited to have recognised this visual opportunity and to know that Peggy Guggenheim, who was so astutely aware of contemporary, ground breaking art, had the same thought about the beauty of the world experienced by looking down on it from above.

Looking down provides a very unique and rich landscape from which, with integrity and imagination, I am able to re- present in an almost abstract painting, an alternative reality.