The following link will take you a film made by Paul Dutnall, featuring Mary Miers, on The Pilgrim Coast and Gibb's work:
Ramsay Gibb has gained a national reputation as a painter of landscape chiefly in the British Isles with a particular focus on historical and archaeological settings. A serious walker, Gibb is well known for his paintings recording demanding journeys he has made in search of ancient pilgrim roads leading to sacred sites. Having begun his career as a watercolourist, particularly attracted to weather systems, he now pursues this interest in energetic compositions executed in oil on board.
In his characteristic pursuit, as a tireless, purposeful walker, of the history which lies beneath or is embedded in landscape, Ramsay Gibb has honed an approach which owes something to several landscape traditions. There is an echo in his work of the vision of those painters of the Hudson River School who sought to capture the ‘sublime’ in their interpretation of immense vistas still largely untamed. As he seeks out shrines and sanctuaries, Gibb inevitably imparts to his landscapes a moral dimension, as did the German Romantic Caspar David Friedrich, for whom the Harz Mountains or desolate stretches of Baltic coastline became a metaphor for the fragility and isolation of humankind in the great scheme of things – just as many hermits seeking refuge in remote caves treasured a redemptive sense of the infinite which they found there. For Gibb, however, the journey itself is still the thing. This is what gives to his compositions their great energy and confident sense of direction, reflected typically in the loose, textural foreground, which seems to invite the viewer forward, to share those energetic footprints or scramble through the springy turf towards an irresistible destination on the horizon.
Ramsay Gibb was born in Irvine, Ayrshire in 1965, spending his early years on the coast near Troon. Later his family moved to Lancashire, where he studied first at Bolton and then at the University of Brighton. From 1985 he based himself on the Sussex coast, finding subjects in the landscape encompassed by the rivers Adur, Ouse and Cuckmere. In 1998 he moved to East Anglia, drawn to the rivers, coastline and woodlands of Norfolk and Suffolk, with a sympathy for the region’s archaeology manifest in surviving traces of early occupation and agricultural activity. In recent years Gibb has become increasingly interested in getting closer to his Scottish roots with a particular predilection for islands, along with a growing fascination for the North, the seas once dominated by the Vikings. In pursuit of the historical dimension in the landscape of the British Isles, explored first in his 2011 exhibition A first avowed intent: On pilgrim roads from Iona to St. Davids, since early 2012 he has been working within the broad terrain of early Northumbria, developing this theme further in following the old routes taken by pilgrims and holy men in this region’s golden age.
Since 1994 Ramsay Gibb has been represented by Francis Kyle Gallery, participating first in the Jazz exhibition (1995), a project for which he travelled to the Mississippi Delta to interpret in watercolour a sequence of classic settings, urban as well as rural. Subsequently, he was a major participant in the Gallery’s exhibition devoted to woodland: Per una selva oscura - artists take to the forest (1995). From 1995 onwards he has worked mainly in oils, contributing to many of the Gallery’s theme exhibitions, including The Saxon Shore: a portrait of East Anglia in the perspective of history (1997), Everyone Sang: a view of Siegfried Sassoon and his world (2006) and That gong-tormented sea: contemporary painters pursue the idea and reality of Byzantium (2009). Since 2003 Gibb has been developing his approach to landscape in Britain as well as exploring aspects of the northern seas with working visits to the Outer Hebrides, the Shetland Islands, the Faroes, the Lofoten Islands, Finland and the Barents Sea.Nine one-person exhibitions with Francis Kyle Gallery since 1998, including Waterscapes (2004), In the Northern Seas (2006), A first avowed intent (2011) and The Pilgrim Coast (2013), shown first (summer 2013) at the Granary Gallery, Berwick-upon-Tweed and Woodhorn Museum, Ashington
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