The Paintings of Alfred Wallis


91.5 x 37 x 3.2 cm

“The Paintings of Alfred Wallis”

Acrylic on Gesso Panel,

Panel Dimensions: 85 x 31 x 0.4 cm

Framed Dimensions: 91.5 x 37 x 3.2 cm

I have admired the work of Alfred Wallis since coming across his work at Kettle’s Yard Gallery in Cambridge, as someone with a few years experience of the sea although Wallis does away with perspective what comes across in the work his knowledge of the sea and vessels of his time. Having briefly researched his life I admire the man and his perseverance and his discovery of his own artistic language and his tenacity to remain with it despite setbacks.

The muted colours which as well as from choice may simply have been what paint and pigment he could afford at the time, it may have been colours from the ships chandlers where he worked, the simple grounds he worked on like card and scraps of board, yet despite these things painting s he produced a body of work which stands well on its own recording his time at sea and his faith.


I used a simple grid of squares in the work to reflect the elemental nature of his paintings the colours muted like his own and the lines to reflect the linear aspects of the ships rigging in his work. The ascending white lines in the lowest series of squares allude to the steps on the quay’s which feature in numerous of his works, the black linear square a reference to the way he painted houses, windows, and doors. Finally, the square fifth from the top and second from the left is the light from a lighthouse with the door to the lighthouse three squares below, the darker section making the entire lighthouse, but also included in this darker amalgamation of square the two square adjacent to the light makes a cross reflecting Wallis’s strong Christion beliefs.