Since graduating from Goldsmiths with a BA in Fine Art in 1984, Christopher Riisager has through a consistent and diligent working practice built a profound knowledge of the landscapes he loves in Wiltshire and Dorset. Constantly striving for new subjects and challenges through which to extend his painting, he travels the countryside looking for compositions that reveal something new in even the most familiar places to himself and, ultimately, the viewers of his work.
In his studio, set in the rural farmlands of the Dorset-Wiltshire border, Christopher surrounds himself with his experiments in painting, sculpture, collage and printing. All reveal a deep curiosity about and dedication to artistic explorations of form, figure, colour and texture extending through separate disciplines to inform each other. Closer inspection of the accumulated collection of older and more recent paintings reveals the solid influence of the tonal painting of the nineteenth century; the French classicism of Corot and the English stylishness of William Nicholson.
Often working en plein air, the race against the changing light and the weather enforces focus and speed. Christopher’s tacit knowledge of colour and light, built through years of experience and observation, result in paintings that invoke the beauty of a scene at a distance, but when drawn in to a closer view unexpected and beguiling motifs appear, capturing the ancient attraction of the Wessex landscape.
His studies of Wessex are supplemented with paintings of southern France, which provide an opportunity to work in a different scale and tone. The open vistas of south-east France studded with crumbling buildings and collapsed bridges, offer a contrast to the tree-enclosed cattle droves and sheltered, sheep-studded valleys of England.