December 7, 2018
Artist Talk : John Cleaveland - A History in Landscapes

We will host an Artist Talk with gallery painter, John Cleaveland on Friday, December 7th @ 6pm. This event is free and open to the public.

A Brief Summary of Cleaveland's Exhibition:

To mark the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War I, Blue Spiral 1 is proud to present WWI Landscape Paintings by John Cleaveland.

Over a three-year period, John Cleaveland traveled to France and photographed current day sites of World War I battles. Upon returning to his studio in Farmington, Georgia, the artist translated his photographs into rich oil paintings. The stunning images that result from Cleaveland’s explorations depict tranquil vistas that belie their tormented histories. A map of France during WWI, photographs of the artist taken on site, and essays by Brian DeToy, Byron Breese, and Chris McDonald accompany the paintings on display.

"As a painter for over 30 years and long-time student of World War I, I have completed a series of paintings of American Expeditionary battlefields in France in conjunction with the Armistice Day Centennial in 2018.

In October 2015, I first traveled to France to view the AEF combat sites. As I toured the entire Western Front with guide and WWI expert Ian McHenry, the idea of tying the land to The Great War began to take on a larger scope and greater emotional tone for me than I had initially imagined.

I revisited those sites in June of this year and will again for the Armistice Day Centennial in November, with the idea of creating, through my paintings, an intersection between now and then. I want to provide a visual point of dialogue between the viewer and the young men who fought on those grounds so long ago. I want to evoke questions. Who were those young soldiers facing brutalities never dreamed of, sometimes forced to do things counter to their moral upbringing? Of those that came home, how did they readjust? I imagine viewers walking those now grown-over fields too, and feeling something of their lives, as I did while I was there."

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