A brush with history

Keynsham artist Ian Cryer at his easel in Sydney Gardens.

Keynsham artist Ian Cryer at his easel in Sydney Gardens.

Cycling home through Sydney Gardens today l came across an artist hard at work on a easel he had set up on the last remaining iron railway pedestrian bridge that Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed for the Great Western line.

The oils of industry. Recording a view that is going to change very soon.

The oils of industry. Recording a view that is going to change very soon.

Ian Cryer lives in Keynsham and is a West Country artist best known for his oil paintings of landscape, railways, interiors and characters.

His website says although he doesn’t like to be restrained by labels or a rigid working method ‘British Impressionism is a cap that fits in many ways and English painters from the early 20th century – but especially the 1930’s – are very much an influence on his work.

He also teaches and writes for Art magazines but, at the moment, he’s working up and down the London to Bristol line ahead of the multi-billion electrification programme that Network Rail are starting to carry out.

The London to Bristol line passing through Sydney Gardens is the subject of this canvas painting.

The Bristol to London line passing through Sydney Gardens is the subject of this canvas painting. Click on images to enlarge.

A special dry-moat-styled ditch will be dug beside the track as it passes through this historic remnant of a Georgian pleasure garden to keep people away from the high voltage line but still allow a view of passing trains.

The iron bridge Ian had positioned his easel upon is to be lifted out and taken away for restoration before being repositioned at a slightly higher level.

Ian’s painting – looking towards the Bath tunnel – could be one of the last recorded images on canvas before the power line is carried through.

You can check him out at www.iancryer.co.uk