Tony Giles was born in Taunton and loved trains from early childhood. His father was an engine driver and Tony delighted in travelling in the leading carriage from Taunton to Penzance. This painting is taken from the bridge at Burngullow Junction. It is near St Austell on the mainline to Plymouth where a line branches off to Drinnick Mill to the China Clay Works and is well documented by railway enthusiasts.
It is interesting to see the photograph taken from the same spot: the bridge on the right.
On leaving school Tony Giles worked as a cartographic draughtsman for the Admiralty Hydrographic Office for 18 years during which time he taught himself to paint. In 1961 he moved to St Agnes in Cornwall where he was soon recognized as a powerful landscape painter. He continued to be inspired by man-made landscapes throughout his life.
Many of his landscapes move towards the abstract but he maintains a strong sense of place. The forms of the landscape are simplified and blocked often contrasted with brilliant light. The feel and character of the subject becomes far more important than traditional perspective and realism.
Landscape in Grey and Wheal Music in particular are reminiscent of the work of Peter Lanyon in their sweeping lines, views from above and, in the latter, the womb-like forms.
In the painting below, Tony Giles is looking down on Porthtowan from the ruins of the tin mining industry. It is enfolded by the valley sides, protected from the sea. Today his reputation continues to grow as his work becomes increasingly valued by collectors. http://www.landergallery.co.uk/Classics/InternalMain.asp For other information about Burngullow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOmHBp8A4hg http://www.cornwallrailwaysociety.org.uk/parkandillack-branch-2.html https://www.flickr.com/photos/nat37670/9330006936/in/photostream/