Gabriel Langlands

Gabriel Langlands spent several seasons working in fish-stations in Arctic Norway and as a deckhand on Norwegian fishing trawlers. He also sailed from Africa to Norway via the Caribbean before returning to England in 2004, and trained as a traditional timber framer. He is a Fellow of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. His experience at sea has made him aware of a similarity between the patterns of the sea and of the downland landscape of West Sussex and East Hampshire with their rising hangers and rippling sheep tracks.

Apart from a Foundation Year at Chelsea College of Art which offered little in the way of practical instruction, Gabriel is largely self-taught. He has drawn and painted all his life and though he now draws chiefly with a brush, he took ink and pens with him when travelling. He began painting full-time in 2023 while still teaching some carpentry at Bedales School. ‘My background in traditional carpentry has influenced my painting in that I approach learning with a practical eye, trying to disassemble paintings that I love to try to understand them.’

His work - currently ink and gouache on paper - can be seen as an extension to the tradition of 20th Century British Neo-Romantic landscape painters such as Paul Nash and John Piper which descends ultimately from the work of Samuel Palmer, but he is also a great admirer of Stanley Spencer and of medieval illuminated manuscripts with their sense of directness, rawness and naivety. His work is embedded in the country around his home in Hampshire, and an understanding of structure enables him to dissect the landscape, rendering it with deceptively simple brush strokes conveying light and movement and a deep sense of the power and history of the ancient hills and woodlands.

‘I find the process of trying to depict something three dimensional on paper exciting and I try to convey that excitement. When I look at a landscape I see movement and power which I try to capture, often letting the paint lead the way. Loading a brush with colour and laying it across the paper is like magic, as though the colour is coming straight from one's fingers’.

Gabriel has sold many of his paintings privately and was included in a group at Glyndebourne 2023 called Fair Ground where he sold all his work. We are delighted to be exhibiting these powerful, expressive work in the gallery for the first time.