John Halliday: The Monkey Palace
Now in his late 80s, John Halliday lives two doors away from where he was born in Kirkcudbright. Life and travels have taken him far and wide to complete this circle. His childhood in the town brought him in contact with the likes of Jessie M King, her husband, EA Taylor and Cecile Walton who was to be his great champion.
Through Cecile’s encouragement he enrolled at Glasgow School of Art. In his final year he was awarded a bursary to visit Europe. There began his life-long love of Italy, in particular, Venice, Calabria and Sicily. Ethereal and theatrical accounts of these places are included in this small retrospective. They will hang alongside studies for commissions which John received in the dozens for Scottish institutions and the grand houses of Scotland . Trompe l’oeil and architecture typify these works and a capacity for minute detail that tell the picture’s story.
In addition to these, Halliday paints the Galloway landscape in a palette and style quite unlike others. The penumbral light and muted tones of the gentle Galloway landscape are amongst his strongest and most heartfelt work.