Our pick from the autumn exhibition at Trelissick Gallery

Close-up detail of a Ben Taffinder painting, showing the thick impasto paint technique

Gallery Organiser, Tony Crosby, shares his pick of the autumn exhibition at Trelissick Gallery, explaining why Ben Taffinder's Walkers on Treen caught his eye.

Our pick: Ben Taffinder, Walkers on Treen

I've chosen this painting because I like the combination of the very physical way the paint had been applied in bold tablets of thick impasto oil paint and the strong compositional construction in the painting.

Ben Taffinder, Walkers on Treen
Painting showing the view from the clifftop of two walkers on the beach.

Ben originally trained as a sculptor and that shows in the practical way he builds his paintings. He is very clear in how he brings elements together, but the elements still always surprise me. I also love his use of colour, as he carefully and subtly mixes warm green/greys and brown earth colours and then adds a little flash of pink or lemon yellow to show where the sunlight has bounced back.

" Treen is in Cornwall’s far west, which is a place of granite cliffs with a stunning beach. In this composition, Ben has excluded the horizon, which is the usual defining compositional feature in coastal scenery: the horizontal bands of earth, sea and sky. His vertical view point from the cliff top to the beach and the lapping sea puts the two walkers exploring the place where land and sea meet."
- Tony Crosby, Gallery Organiser, Trelissick

This exploration is a recurring theme in Ben’s work. He speaks of his aim of 'trying to see things in a simplified way, to pare back to essentials to understand it'.

Walkers on Treen is a great Ben Taffinder painting, where his use of colour and pattern, compositions with strong contrasts, opposing light and dark, and decisive work with impasto pigment and a palette knife has created something insightful and intense. For me, Ben’s work reveals a great depth of understanding and a powerful passion for, as Ben puts it, 'knowing the land around you'.