Culture: Trully Chilling Winter Images; A Seasonal Landscape Exhibition Is Guaranteed to Chill the Bones, as Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: David Whetstone

AS the season of iced up windscreens and slippery pavements gets into its stride, don't expect a warm welcome at one North-East gallery.

You are likely to get a friendly greeting, but you will shiver at what's on the walls of the Northumbria University Gallery.

Winter Landscapes features the work of five supremely accomplished artists - Sophie Benson, Brita Granstrom, Paul Gallagher, Ornulf Opdahl and Dale Atkinson - whose work will be familiar to regular gallery visitors.

But this is all new work and it complies exactly with the seasonal title.

Sophie Benson, an artist and fine art lecturer at Newcastle University, offers the ultimate winter landscape, a floating iceberg in a glassy sea.

She has produced a series of icebergs as well as some other, equally chilling images of a landscape where it is hard to imagine anything can live.

They have great beauty but also great significance, considering what we all now know about the threat to the ice caps from global warming.

Paul Gallagher is a painter who captures the essence of what many people love about the English landscape in winter - its glorious bleakness and wetness.

Without this, log fires, big dinners and warming drinks - all things associated with Christmas and the depths of winter - lose their appeal.

But this landscape has an intrinsic beauty, exemplified by the brief, vivid orange of a sunset and the twinkle of virgin snow. …