Artist that draws his inspiration from abandoned buildings and lonely streets
WHERE you might see decay, Myles Linley sees an opportunity. While some artists might seek out lush landscapes, Myles prefers the scenes the tourist brochures won't show.
His stark black and white images of Hull include abandoned buildings and lonely streets.
"There is something about Hull," said Myles, 45, of Bishop Burton.
"There a lot of things people will pass by and not think twice about, but through art history there's always been a sense of recording a moment in time.
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"There are certain buildings, including one of the factories in Clough Road, that look like they are heading back towards nature.
"I like the sense of something happening around them, when you have empty streets and empty landscapes, you get the sense of a story."
His charcoal drawings are "quite heavy on light and shade".
"I don't know Hull that well but going into the city I found it quite exciting," said Myles, who has lived in the East Riding for the past six years.
"There is a lot to see beneath the surface, there is a lot to see from an artist's point of view."
Myles's landscapes are being shown in a new exhibition at Creation Fine Arts in Beverley.
Alongside images of Hull, scenes include Wellington Street and the industrial landscapes by the River Hull. There are also scenes of the rural East Riding which are similarly brooding.
"It does not particularly matter what the place is, I have my own way of interpreting it," he said.
"They always tend to have a brooding feel, they end up slightly darker than I anticipate which fits in well with the industrial landscapes."
For the artist, who has been drawing and painting since his teenage years, it marks the latest stage in an established career.
"I'd always wanted to draw, so I subsidised it through gardening, and painting and decorating, which was a means to an end," said Myles.
"It was a frustrating time – you are always having to earn money to create the time to paint, but if you're offered extra work you can't turn it down.
"Fortunately, in recent years I've had more time to devote to it. I was more of a bachelor back then, I was quite good at wasting time. I'm a bit more grown up now.
"In the past few years I've started to get out there. There are two or three galleries which I'm involved with now."
What has also made a difference is that he stays at home looking after his children – Eric, five, and Ivan, three, while his partner, Amanda, a psychiatrist, is at work.
"It is quite a practical thing," he said.
"I know I have a few hours during school to get things done."
Myles grew up close to the moors between Harrogate and Otley.
"I was given a lot of freedom, I could come and go as I pleased," he said.
"There was a real sense you could get out and be yourself. I was the youngest of four so I was left to myself a lot of the time.
"I think that gave me a feel for creativity, being out spending time on my own and exploring nature."
He would go camping with friends in the Dales but only discovered art in his mid-teens.
"It was something I found I could do, prior to that I did not have the time, I was too restless and could not sit still for long enough," he said.
"I was a bit of a dreamer at school. I came out with a few qualifications and drifted into art school, which turned out was the right thing for me. I really flourished there and met similar-minded people."
He studied art in Harrogate and then at Bristol Polytechnic.
"There were certain things about it I did not get along with," he said.
"There's a certain amount of pretending which goes on with some people. I simply wanted to learn to draw.
"Once I got to the point of finding what I was doing deeply interesting, it became impossible to think about anything else.
"I think it has taken me a long time to get to that point but it is straightforward, really. You get the materials and you get out there."
With the interest in his current exhibition, he has plans to do similar projects on Leeds.
"I never wanted to do it in a clichéd way, some paintings on theme of decay in a city. I wanted to do it in a more ordinary way," said Myles.
"In some sense I feel like I could drive down any street, in any town, and there would be something worth recording."
Drawings And Paintings Of Hull And East Yorkshire is on at Creation Fine Arts, North Bar Within, Beverley, until Sunday, March 3. Open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am-5.30pm; and 10am to 7pm on Thursdays. Sundays noon to 4pm. Call 01482 868884. Visit www.myleslinley.co.uk