One of the great things about this new blog is that it gives me a platform to draw people’s attention to some really great, less well-known artists that are out there. One such is David Briggs from Lisburn, County Antrim, who you’re probably unlikely to have heard of unless transport, especially railways, are your thing. You won’t have come across his work at auction as he only works on a commission basis, and when you look at his stunning paintings you will see why it’s unlikely any of it will see the inside of a saleroom unless their owners die or run into serious financial difficulty.
David’s work is seriously good with a great eye to detail and exudes atmosphere rarely seen in similar work. They are evocative, sometimes sad reminders of days gone by when it was still possible to travel to the remotest corner of Ireland by train, and every little boy wanted to become an engine driver. The inviting light of the signal box on a winter’s evening, smoke gently wafting from locomotive chimneys, the gentle hissing of escaping steam bring the paintings to life and you are drawn in…
“Twilight at Florencecourt” a scene that can never be repeated on the late lamented Sligo, Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway – an independent concern to the end and which closed 1957.
“Craigmore in the snow” – a picturesque view of the famous viaduct near Newry on the Dublin/Belfast line.
They are far more than just railway paintings though and scenery, people and weather are not overlooked. They depict Ireland in a gentler, more easy-going era when the pace of life still allowed people the time to stop for a chat.
“Omagh, 1964” – the diesel railcar set adds to the poignancy of the painting as the Great Northern Railway’s line between Portadown and Londonderry, known as the ‘Derry Road‘, was a late survivor finally closing in 1965 and was a victim of political shenanigans.
The artist’s other equally superb work includes road haulage, motor biking, aviation and maritime scenes – be sure to check out his Facebook page ‘The Transport Artwork of David Briggs’