Chris Cyprus British, b. 1971

Born April 1971, in Gorton, Manchester, Chris Cyprus 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+. For some time, Cyprus worked for the family business as a carpet fitter, until 1991 when he became a self employed builder and part time musician, working the Northern Clubs and occasionally touring Germany.

 

After a work related injury in August 1998, Cyprus took up painting for leisure. One year later, he hired a stand at the Manchester Art Show and had a sell-out stall. In 2001, Chris was diagnosed with cancer, which recurred in 2003, after radiotherapy he finally got the all-clear in 2004. Cyprus states that the illness helped him to prioritise the important things in life and strengthened his artistic vision. Cyprus had a realisation that the key to becoming happy with your work and being successful is to be true to yourself, and paint what inspires you at that moment.

 

The 'Northern Lights' series started seven years ago when Cyprus made it his mission to spotlight the beauty of everyday Lancashire life in the hazy yellow glow of sodium lighting. The project coincided with the government's scheme to remove, replace or upgrade every street light across the UK to provide a more cost-effective lighting system, replacing every yellow bulb with a white one.

 

'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