Blow show heralds winds of change

Godfrey Blow in his Kalamunda studio.

Ghost stories and myths run through the paintings of Godfrey Blow, an artist whose imagination is fuelled by the forests, hedgerows and waterways of the England he left more than 30 years ago to settle in Perth.

Landscape, Sea and Beyond is the title of Blow's latest exhibition, the first to be held at the revamped Harvison Gallery after it added a cafe, Art Starter Coffee, to its Northbridge premises to widen its appeal and cash flow.

Blow, who has exhibited at Gomboc Gallery and Stafford Studios among other local galleries, says the gallery- cafe concept could help introduce new clients to contemporary art in comfortable surroundings.

"It seems that the days of galleries in Perth making a living solely from art are fast disappearing," he says.

The Kalamunda artist says his work sits in the romantic tradition in its reach for the transcendent through landscape, using light and colour to reveal the magic and spirit of the land.

"The spiritual nature of art is important for me," he says. "I am searching for the nature of existence through the use of visual imagery, using landscape and human forms."

Blow's work has been called neo-surrealist for manifesting human shapes through trees, rocks and other natural forms but he refers to his paintings in this exhibition in terms of more ancient pagan traditions.

"The philosophy behind the artwork comes from the ancient pagan religions of the British Isles, combined with, and contrasting with Christian iconography," he says.

Blow trained at Sheffield Hallam University in England and came to WA in 1982. His work is held by the Art Gallery of WA, University of WA, Curtin University and other collections.

He has shown in India, China, Canada and the UK, most notably as part of the Stuckist anti- conceptual art movement show Stuckist Punk Victorian exhibition at the 2004 Liverpool Biennial.

Godfrey Blow is exhibiting at Harvison Gallery, 195 Brisbane Street Northbridge, from Sunday to September 28.