Coastal Defences, Aberdeen
By Leo du Feu

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Year
2008
Media
Acrylic and Gouache
Subject Matter
Landscape - Sea and Boats
Reg. Number
G1350

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Leo's inspiration is the natural world. He takes every opportunity to explore the landscapes of Scotland and the rest of Britain, walking, cycling, sketching and taking photos, using material gathered to complete paintings in the studio. Leo has a keen interest in natural history and environment and is supported by Scotrail in his ongoing project to explore Scotland's rail-accessible landscapes which will culminate in publication of a book.

Leo du Feu's 'Coastal Defences' was produced as part of a commission from Scotrail to depict Scotland's rail-accessible landscape. The scene depicted here is near Aberdeen, and shows a pillbox, one of the old concrete structures built to guard the Scottish coast during the Second World War. Since the war has ended, this pillbox has been left unused, and it has changed from practical architecture to artefact, becoming a part of the landscape itself.

Travel plays an important role in Leo's work, both within the Scotrail project and more broadly. To create his work, he leaves his studio to sketch as he wanders through nature, turning these sketches into finished paintings upon his return. This lends his works a sense of serendipity, the feeling that whatever he depicts has been found or happened upon by chance in the course of a longer adventure, such as this long-abandoned artefact on the Aberdeenshire coast.

Leo takes much of his inspiration from nature, and especially the British landscape. In 'Coastal Defences', he uses the same pigments to create the pillbox and the earth around it, leaving only its geometric shape and the differing texture to distinguish it from the natural world around it.

Leo Du Feu was born in 1984 and lives in Linlithgow. He graduated from the Edinburgh College of Art in 2006. Among other things, he is working on a project with Scotrail to explore and paint Scotland’s rail-accessible landscapes: the results of this project will feature in a future publication. He has also won the Royal Over-Seas League Arts Commonwealth Travel Scholarship and the Alexander Graham Munro Travel Award from the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour. He has exhibited at the RSW, and at the Royal Scottsih Academy and the Society of Scottish Artists.

Among other things, he is working on a project with Scotrail to explore and paint Scotland’s rail-accessible landscapes: the results of this project will feature in a future publication. He has also won the Royal Over-Seas League Arts Commonwealth Travel Scholarship and the Alexander Graham Munro Travel Award from the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour. He has exhibited at the RSW, and at the Royal Scottsih Academy and the Society of Scottish Artists.

Art in Healthcare's blog entry about Leo du Feu

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