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Chester-based artist's gift to his adopted city

Painting depicts Christmas visit of Ferris wheel

5 March 2012

A fine painting by a Chester based-artist has been donated to the Grosvenor Museum.

‘Ferris Wheel, Chester, Christmas 2010’, painted in oil on canvas by Francis Terry Mullen, has been generously presented by the artist.

He said: “I wanted to make a painting of Chester’s Ferris wheel, and after careful consideration decided to paint the scene in the half light of dusk.

“The dark solidity of the Grosvenor Bridge, with the warm glow of its lanterns, is set in front of a cold wintery scene featuring the doily-like delicacy of the Ferris wheel.

“Using a little artistic licence, I dispensed with linear perspective and concentrated instead on aerial perspective to create atmosphere and to define distance tonally.”

The artist continued: “People are always an important part of my paintings. That’s what the Ferris wheel was there for, wasn’t it? For people - to brighten up their winter festivities and to enchant their children. I hope my painting captures that and recalls those happy moments.”

Francis Terry Mullen was born at Stockport, and studied at Stockport College of Art and at the Regional College of Art in Manchester. He was working as an artist for a national newspaper group when he was sent to Chester in 1966 to start an art studio to help with the introduction of colour into local newspapers. He also worked as a part-time lecturer at Chester School of Art from 1968-76.

Having decided that Chester was where he wanted to settle permanently, he started his own commercial/fine art studio and has lived and worked in the city for the past 46 years.

His paintings have been widely exhibited in private and public galleries, and he is currently showing in the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art’s Spring Exhibition in Conwy.

Councillor Stuart Parker, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, said: “We are enormously grateful to Francis Terry Mullen for his generous gift of ‘Ferris Wheel, Chester, Christmas 2010’.

“Not only is the painting beautifully composed, but the artist has captured the late afternoon winter light with remarkable accuracy, contributing greatly to the realism of the scene and its tonal harmony.

“It brings a very welcome new dimension to the Grosvenor Museum’s collection of Chester views and I am sure that it will be warmly appreciated by the museum’s many visitors.”

The Grosvenor Museum is open Monday to Saturday 10.30am-5pm and Sunday 1pm-4pm, admission free.

Ferris Wheel, Chester, Christmas 2010

Photo: Artist Francis Terry Mullen (left) and Councillor Stuart Parker with the donated painting ‘Ferris Wheel, Chester, Christmas 2010’.