Chris Cyprus British, b. 1971

"When artist Chris Cyprus first tried to capture the magical colours of twilight in his beloved Mossley, little did he know he was painting the first of a series that would span over a decade, run to 250 images and see him featured on prime-time BBC.

 

That series, called Northern Lights — instantly recognisable for its palette of striking blues, oranges and yellows — is now at an end; and at Contemporary Six in Manchester, thirty-seven paintings will be on display, including #230 — the painting featured on The One Show.

 

The premise of the series is simple: scenes of everyday northern life illuminated by both the setting sun, and the distinctive warm glow of sodium street lighting. The subject matter is down-to-earth and instantly relatable - from pubs and chippies to bus stops, garages and back alleyways - but these familiar scenes took on a new profundity when in 2015, a UK-wide Government programme to replace the evocative orange bulbs in street lighting with more environmentally friendly LEDs.

 

"My painting took on a new significance," said Chris. "I felt like I was chronicling the end of an era. I'm fully supportive of the green credentials of the new lighting - and the cost saving for cash strapped councils across the forgotten North — but I won't half miss those magical moments when the orange street lamps crank up at dusk."