Colin retired as Head of Fine art at Maidstone Art School and moved to Pembrokeshire in 1999.
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Colin Finn at the White Lion Street Gallery
Colin Finn's rich, varied and mobile life has always included painting; from being a student in Birmingham College of Art in coronation year, serving as a soldier in National Service during the 50's and teaching as a lecturer in art schools across the UK thereafter.
He started exhibiting his work with the Birmingham Society of Artists and for some years afterwards in Liverpool. As Lecturer in Painting at Oxford School of Art he lived in Berkshire and exhibited in London, then, with a move to Hull College as Senior Lecturer, he produced canvas sculptures with Hull sailmakers and showed at galleries in Birmingham and Hull.
Another move followed, to Liverpool College of Art as Head of Painting, and Colin painted for a London gallery, produced sculpture for an Arts Council touring exhibition and later made installations and constructions for shows in Birmingham, Oslo and London.
As a visiting lecturer for the Royal College of Art, Colin showed drawings at the Barbican Arts Centre, London and then took up post as Head of Fine Art at Maidstone School of Art, back in the county of his birth where he remained for some years.
When he gave up teaching he was able to devote his energies to his own work exclusively and showed in London in the Singer Freidlander/Sunday Times watercolour exhibitions, at the Royal Institute and the Guardian 'Art for Sale' show during the 90's.
Yet another move – this time to Pembrokeshire in 1999 – spurred his enthusiasm for photography and a return to landscape painting.
His 2009 exhibition, entitled 'Mythscapes', was a selection from Colin's painting of the past 10 years. The work fell mainly into three categories: the island series, inspired by walking Pembrokeshire beaches, looking out to offshore islands, and with hints of lost domains – Dunwich, a Suffolk city submerged by the sea, the legendary land of Lyoness, and Avalon, the island of Arthurian myth; the mountain series, which calls to mind the dome of 'Sugarloaf' hill in Kent, Glastonbury Tor, Wittenham Clump in Oxfordshire, the Long Mynd and White Horse Hill, and the Cezanne paintings of Mont Sainte-Victoire; and thirdly the White Goddess series.
These are carefully constructed and complex paintings, thoughtfully drawing on a deep understanding of an area, its geology and history, exquisite in drawing and rich in colour. The scenes are unpeopled but contain signs of human activity such as excavation, voyages and communication and hints of habitation and husbandry, calm and ordered compositions indicating layers of time and lives long gone.