Art Circus Spotlight
‘Turners View’ and ‘Sky of England’ by Adrian Merrifield


Turners View is a contemporary view from the spot in Hunston near Chichester where Joseph Turner painted Chichester Canal in 1828. Studies made for this work expose the reasons why you should never trust a painting as a true representation of reality. Turner has the sun setting to the left of the cathedral, but the viewer is looking north, also a ship as large as in Turners work would not have been able to sail there. Today the view towards the cathedral is obscured by telegraph wires and is not as peaceful as the painting suggests due to heavy traffic just yards away from this spot.


When walking one day I observed the cloud formation in the sky resembled the shape of a map of England. Trying to get a good view became difficult as it was constantly obscured by pylons wires and telegraph poles. These omnipresent structures in the English landscape have become so common that I don’t think most people actually see them anymore. Many painters will edit them out of their paintings for aesthetic reasons. I thought they are there as much a part of the landscape as clouds, trees, rivers etc.

See more paintings by Adrian Merrifield