Chris Cyprus Originals
Chris’s interest in what he now calls his“Northern lights” collection started seven years ago when he made it his mission to spotlight the beauty of everyday Lancashire life in the hazy yellow glow of sodium lighting. Typical of Chris’s style, his paintings are capturing life of yesteryear… or what certainly will be by 2016 in the Government’s drive to revamp Britain’s street lighting system!
Over the next couple of years the goal is to remove, replace or upgrade every street light across the UK to provide a more cost-effective lighting system… and replace every single yellow light with a white one to achieve that goal.
“I wasn’t even aware of the government’s initiative when I started painting my Northern Lights collection. I was simply wanting to preserve moments I saw in my every day life on my way home from work, from out of my studio window and as I left my allotment… all brief moments that took my breath away. I was spellbound by the feeling of being drawn into scenes that are overlooked during the day… scenes of no particular significance that came alive in the magical glow of yellow lamplight.”
Chris Cyprus prints available in the Gallery. Contact us for more information.
Born April 1971, In Gorton, Manchester. After a brief time living in Stockport, Chris moved to Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne, a small town built around the old cotton mills and the river Tame. He left school in 1987 with only 4 G.C.S.E’s and an O’ level in Art at grade A+, going on to work for the family business as a Carpet Fitter until 1991. Chris then become a self employed builder and part time Musician, working the Northern Clubs and occasionally touring Germany.
After a work related injury in August 1998, Chris took up painting as a hobby and in 1999 hired a stand at the Manchester Art Show at G.Mex where he sold all his exhibited paintings. In 2001 Chris was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer, which then recurred in 2003. After having Radiotherapy he finally got the all clear in 2004. The illness helped him to prioritise the important things in life, highlighting the things that are usually taken for granted. This strengthened his artistic vision and fuelled his passion to succeed as an artist.
Self taught, obsessive and unique, after eight years as a self-taught painter,
portraying Lancashire’s stunning landscapes and Townscapes, Chris embarked on a project painting allotments on hillsides close to his home.
In the last decade Chris has emerged as a rising star of the art world, due to numerous TV appearances, notably BBC Gardener’s World in summer 2008. Now his paintings are in high demand and purchased by buyers both at home and abroad who find a magnetic appeal in the secret world of garden sheds and home-grown root vegetables.
Now a major contemporary artist with a national reputation, he is widely recognised for his unique style, and like most prolific artists, he is a compulsive painter and absorbs ideas for his painting wherever he is, including his own allotment. His trademark features of bold colour, ordinary everyday situations, and quiet humour strike a chord with keen gardeners and art lovers everywhere.
The 43 year old from Mossley, Lancashire speaking at the opening of a recent exhibition, said that his passion for painting allotment scenes began with a fascination with the humble garden shed.
“They are secretive places. What is hidden inside, how old it is, and the aesthetic look has always interested me. There’s a kind of nostalgia to sheds that evokes images of granddads with flat caps, pipes, and vests. This is a stereo typical view that is not a true reflection of modern day allotments as there are as many women that tend plots now, but there is something quintessentially English about allotments that interest me, and the friendly people’s banter that inspires me to paint them. As an artist I am constantly striving to create images that have a strong identity and theme, and don’t ever paint to suit trends or styles, not everybody likes what I do but I can guarantee that my work, once seen is never forgotten.
Chris’s work has now evolved into a fine blend of Northern Life, depicting the things he see’s in everyday life from a simple bus shelter conversation, a chip shop illuminated at dusk, a Narrow boat journey through an industrial backdrop or figures working on their allotment. Chris brings life, colour and humour to all the narratives in his paintings.
To see Chris’s interview with ITV Report about his inspiration and his battle with cancer, follow the link below.