Through 2021 and 2022, Christopher Riisager has continued his search for new subjects with which to challenge his working practice as a landscape painter. As well as continuing to revisit favourite old haunts at home, looking for new compositions and fresh insights into the familiar, his travels to Sicily and Northern Ireland have provided new vistas to extend his exploration of old motifs.
The peace of ruins, be they the Tonnaras and abandoned, crumbling canning factories in the inescapable noonday heat of Sicily's north coast, or the melancholy sleep of Antrim's castles Dunluce or Dunseverick.
Cliffs and mountains, the ruins of nature's ceaseless war, also continue as a strong and rewarding theme. The studies of the cliffs and stacks at Whiterocks, near Portrush, complement and extend those of Portland's bluffs and quarries.
And there are echoes too, inland. The baking fields of the farmland of Piano Neve, and the big silent wheatfields of the Wiltshire Downs. The dry hot summer of 2022 seemed to extend the experience of Sicily's sunshine and colour. The brown and pink fields of Southern England never looked so Italian, or the trees so black at midday.
Whatever the intensity, where there is light there is colour, and a subject for painting. The self-illuminated streets of Trapani or Fortuneswell, the cool greens of Ireland or Dorset woodlands, both home... and away.