Lot 220 - Martin Greenland - Cordoba of the Mind (Sunrise)
Lot 220 - Martin Greenland - Cordoba of the Mind (Sunrise)

Lot 220 - Martin Greenland - Cordoba of the Mind (Sunrise)

Oil on Paper



Martin Greenland is an unintentional Cumbrian, this being the county in which his parents were resident in 1985, the year he graduated with first class honours in Fine Art (Painting) from Exeter College of Art. Only intending to stay a short while and always intending to return to Devon, he remained and has been a resident of Cumbria for 36 years.


Greenland is also an unintentional landscape painter, never wanting to ‘end up’ in this unfashionable end of the art world but a hereditary family trait of championing the underdog has led him to focus diligently and faithfully on this most honest of subjects. The influences of his long adopted home county have also very gradually come to influence his work. Always a northerner (Yorkshire by birth) but never necessarily ‘proud’ of the fact, he now has come to love the north and love landscape, that thing which surrounds us all, wherever it is.


There is never any grand plan in his work. Themes come and go but he always works on what feels right or is utmost in his mind at the time. This deliberate lack of planning comes from knowing that what is planned will inevitably change anyway. More frequently, a canvas will be taken and work will start without any idea of what is going to happen. This makes painting always a surprise.


His work is always totally invented and this has become an increasingly important concept in his painting. As well as being able to be much more in the nature of a composer, to be able to add or subtract at will and delighting at being able to exercise and challenge his skill as a painter in creating illusions of ‘new’ landscapes, it has become increasingly obvious to Greenland that this challenge to invent is not about showing off skill but is a test to him of his knowledge of the workings of the world. This actual dedication to truth keeps his work away from fantasy, until the time comes to tease or to jolt the viewer. For this reason there has always been a surreal element here though today even this is being played down until it is almost unnoticeable. The need for scientific truth is almost one hundred percent important in his work.  


Greenland has exhibited his work in Cumbria and other parts on the U.K. regularly since the 1980’s, currently by The Portland Gallery in London, The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh, The John Davies Gallery in Moreton-in-Marsh and Castlegate House in Cockermouth. He was represented in the John Moores Exhibition of Contemporary Painting, held biennially in Liverpool, for four consecutive times from 1989 to 1995, and in 2006 (John Moores 24) he was awarded the £25,000 First Prize for his painting ‘Before Vermeer’s Clouds’, which is now a part of the permanent collection there. His work is held in collections worldwide.  




B.A. Hons. (1st) Fine Art (Painting) Exeter College of Art, 1985









2019                 Miniature, Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

                          Prized, New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham, Surrey

                          Unpicturesque, Heaton Cooper Archive Gallery, Grasmere

2018                 John Moores UK & China Prizewinners Show, Corke Art Gallery, Liverpool

                          Tatha Gallery, Newport on Tay, Fife

                          Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

                          New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham, Surrey

2017                 Beaux Arts, Bath

2014                 Beaux Arts, Bath

2013                  Mixed exhibition, Corke Art Gallery, Liverpool

                          Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London

                          Dutch Italianates, Mall Galleries, London

                          GBS Fine Art, London Art Fair, Islington, London

2011                  i know a place, Flowers East, London

                          Charter of the Forest, Usher Art Gallery and Collection, Lincoln

                          12, Art Gallery at Rheged Exhibition Space, Cumbria

                          Flashback, 25 Years Anniversary Exhibition, Art Space Gallery, London

2010                 Places of the Mind, Art Space Gallery, London

                          Layers, John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize Show, Seongnam, South Korea          


2006                 FIRST PRIZE WINNER John Moores 24, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool



2000                 Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London.  PRIZE WINNER

1998                 (to present) The Lake Artists Society Summer Exhibition, Grasmere

1997                  Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London.

1995 - 96          John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 19.  Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

1993 - 94          John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 18.  Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

1991 - 92          John Moores, Liverpool Exhibition 17. Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

1989 - 90          John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 16.  Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

1987                  Abbot Hall, Kendal

1985 - 86         Whitworth Young Contemporaries, Manchester.




2017                  New Work, Beaux Arts, Bath

2016                  I am (not) Making This Up, Corke Gallery, Liverpool

2016                  New Paintings, Castlegate House, Cockermouth, Cumbria

2015                  New Paintings, Beaux Arts, Bath

2015                  ONE TO ONE, The Blue Gallery, Brantwood, Coniston, Cumbria

2014                  Second Novels, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle

2012                  Inventions and Re-inventions, Corke Art Gallery, Liverpool

2011                  Uncharted Land, Art Space Gallery, London

2010                  New Fiction, Cornerstone Gallery, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool

2009                  Arrangements of Memory, Art Space Gallery, Islington, London





• 2014 North of England Regional Prize winner, Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London


• 2006 FIRST PRIZE WINNER of the John Moores, 24 – Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.


• 2003 Commissioned to produce a painting of the newly re-built Paternoster Square, next to St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, which was presented to The Lord Mayor of London, and which now hangs in The Mansion House.


• 2000 GCI Financial Purchase Prize at Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London.








The four submitted works are studies for paintings or possible paintings which incorporate partly remembered and recognisable landscape, in this case the Coniston mountain range in Cumbria, from the south, with completely invented landscape. This invention includes hints of buildings of the Islamic city of Cordoba, transplanted into this northern landscape. I deliberately avoided referring to any actual images of the city, past or present, but wanted to show how the city looks in my mind. Thus the paintings are all titled CORDOBA OF THE MIND, with a time of day to distinguish each one. The essential concept of the idea is of thinking about this once almost perfect, tolerant, progressive, beautiful city and just how the world might have become had the Moors not been driven from Spain by the Christians.