Artist profiles - Chris Gilbert

Even from a very early age I was inspired by the world around me and was trying to paint representational landscapes as young as 12 but despite years and years of trying I never really cracked it in the way I wanted. I bought my first SLR camera back in 1981 and recognised immediately that the camera far better suited the way that my mind wanted to depict the landscape than I ever could with a paintbrush. I continued with both paint and camera until 2004 when digital cameras started achieving a degree of image quality that made them compete favourably with film at which point I switched almost entirely to photography, although I do still love to paint when the opportunity presents. It has often been remarked that my photographs look more like landscape paintings and I am very happy with that comparison. As well as exhibiting and selling my work I also coach landscape photography skills to people similarly passionate about the art and the landscape. Simultaneously introducing people to both photography and the wonderful landscape of the Peak District is both a privilege and a pleasure.

In 2009 I was shortlisted for the Take-a-View Landscape Photographer Of The Year award. In 2012 I had two pictures shortlisted for the National Parks Organisation 'Beautiful Britain' competition and I was also 'Commended' in Take-a-View, featuring in both the publication for 2012's competition and the corresponding exhibition at the National Theatre in London. In 2012 I also completed my first public art installation at the Royal Hallamshire Holspital in Sheffield, who commissioned 136 framed images from my portfolio to hang on the walls of the Ophthalmology Department as a part of the Health In Arts initiative.

In terms of artistic influence, while there are many fine photographers whose work I admire I am far more strongly influenced by the paintings of W M Turner, W Heaton-Cooper and Edward Hopper.

I live in Cressbrook, in the middle of the Peak District National Park with my wife, Jane.

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