A FORMER London-based architect will be one of many artists taking part in this year's Gargrave Art Exhibition.

Matthew Eyles returned home to Flasby in 2018 after a successful career in architecture. Prompted by family and friends to 'follow his passion' he started painting and has since exhibited at the Look Gallery in Hemsley and last year was winner of the 'people's favourite award' at Gargrave Art Exhibition.

Matthew, whose studio gives him a wonderful view of Sharphaw, is back again this year to the annual show with an extended portfolio of work including original pieces, framed and unframed prints and cards.

In 2020, having not put pen to paper for non-architectural work for more than 30 years, Matthew was 'pleasantly surprised' by the results. Self-taught apart from a basic art education at school, he employs with dramatic effect techniques, practices and disciplines from his architectural training, to literally 'build' his pictures.

With an architect's attention to detail, he says he is fascinated by the character and nature of the countryside and how it is affected not only by the seasons, light and weather conditions but also by human intervention – buildings, roads, tracks, pared-back hedgerows, and the Dales signature dry stone walls. The jewel like quality of his work is created by layering glazes and washes and then adding startling detail, giving his work the sense of heightened reality.

As his new-found career develops, Matthew is still working on townscapes and landscapes with an increasingly dark and moody Gothic influence, in addition to taking life drawing classes. But whatever happens, his intention is “to do more art”.

Matthew’s display will be set amongst hundreds of artworks from dozens of talented artists from the area working in a wide variety of materials and styles.

There will be many well-loved returning artists but every year there are new artists, such as Matthew, to delight and surprise. Refreshments from Gargrave 2022 will be on sale.

Gargrave Art Exhibition is at Gargrave Village Hall from Thursday, July 4 until Sunday, July 7. 10am to 7pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and 10am to 4.30pm Sunday. Free admission.