Art Review

The Friday Painter goes to Northallerton

Photographer: Joe Cornish

Joe Cornish Gallery
Welcome to my blog reviewing the photography of Joe Cornish, who is regarded as one of the world’s foremost landscape photographers whose gallery I recently visited in Northallerton, a vibrant friendly market town in North Yorkshire.

His gallery occupies the town’s former ‘Register House,’ a grade ll listed building that dates back to the eighteenth century which is full of character. Being an artist and not a photographer I have reviewed Cornish’s photography through the eyes of an artist.

Billowing Heather, Roseberry Topping North York Moors

Roseberry Topping

Copyright Joe Cornish

Entering this grade ll listed building feels incredibly special as I find myself surrounded by an array of stunning photography shots. I am immediately drawn to the first of three pieces of artwork and suddenly I find myself immersed in a landscape of the North Yorkshire Moors featuring Roseberry Topping a distinctive hill, situated near Great Ayton and Newton under Roseberry.

The angle of the photograph captures the vastness of the North York Moors, it felt like a Harry Potter moment, a portal to another world, captured within a frame, The light interacts with the dramatic beauty and rawness of the landscape creating an energy that felt so fresh and real, a window to the outside world where I could reach out and be transported there and then. The purple and pink hues of the heather adding warmness to the landscape scene. I absolutely loved this piece, a window to the beauty of the North.


Copyright Joe Cornish

The second piece I choose was ‘Submergence,’ which focused in on rocks framed by water, which by its very abstract nature I found captivating. I literally couldn’t take my eyes away from it. Was I staring at a Mummy artefact wearing a shroud, submerged beneath the sea, from a long-lost ancient civilisation or some alien life form, asleep ready to be reawakened? It was hard to remind myself I was looking at rocks and I walked away several times and came back to just to do that! To say I found this piece totally mesmerising would be an understatement, it worked so well on many levels!

The third piece I choose to review was the Time Keeper. Initially I was drawn to it because of its sculpture like quality of a gnawed tree trunk, captured within the photo shot. Entranced, I quickly realised that this piece had so much depth and layers in it and suddenly the tree and branches seem to take on the image of a stag, which reminded me of Hearn, the god of the forest in Celtic mythology. Was he the Time Keeper or was there other mythological creatures within the layers or an Ent, like those found in Lord of the Rings? I guess I will never know, but it certainly worked its magic on me!

Time Keeper

Time Keeper

Copyright Joes Cornish

What I like about the three pieces of work is how engaging they were and of the stories that they conjure up. They have many layers, open to interpretation which Cornish brings into his work. How do you do that? Well by the by the sheer genius of Joe Cornish that is how!

For further information –

The gallery itself is very conveniently situated in the middle of Northallerton and only about a 15-minute walk from the train station. The gallery is staged over two floors with many smaller rooms, several of which have comfy sofas where you can have a coffee, chill out and enjoy the photography work adorning the walls. Plus, the café sells the most beautiful scones, which the friendly staff advise are freshly baked every day. Market days, Wednesdays and Saturdays are particularly good days to visit Northallerton, whose market has a lovely vibe and buzz to it.

Further links to Joe Cornish's work can be found here -

Joe Cornish Gallery

On-line Gallery