The First Major Solo show of Alexander Heaton's paintings in London summer 2006. You’re in a Charity Shop or your favourite vintage haunt when you find a stack of postcards that have been lovingly kept. You flick through them, learning about Margaret in Toulouse finding the French “quite discourteous”, Jim and Julie on their Honeymoon in Italy get food poisoning on the second day and spend the whole holiday in their hotel room, and Herbert visiting his son in San Francisco and meeting his friends, whom he describes as “Awfully free-spirited” and “well groomed, with a love of Elizabeth Taylor”. Then you get to a vivid mountainous scene of Swiss Alps. It depicts a scene of complete solace. Water mills and homes built into the mountains; with the daunting Alps lurking ominously in the background, whilst goats graze in the foreground, implying a feeling of complete contentment in an epic landscape.
This is the first thing that came to mind when I walked through the door of Alexander Heaton’s first solo show. ‘The Horn That Matters’ comes from a singular moment, the moment when Heaton who was mountaineering in the Valais region of Switzerland, saw his group leader turn and point at the morning light which was revealing the beautiful Matterhorn and announced ‘The horn that matters’. It was this moment that influenced his work since. Heaton paints using oils that come from minerals found within the great mountains producing sincere, narrative scenes that evoke feelings of wonder and childlike fragility. Apart from making you want to enter the painted scene, you are made to feel quite at ease in the company of the painting. The lucid colours and striking compositions are surprisingly un-daunting, probably because of the fondness and respect in which they were painted. And although hinting at catastrophe they are a calm progression from some of his earlier unreal, apocalyptic works, a progression I hope he pursues, as aside from travelling the Alps work like this prove a kind escape from our hectic city lives.
Work was exhibited at Lime Wharf Gallery, Vyner Street. The Exhibition was reviewed by Amelia's Magazine to great acclaim and all the work exhibited now resides in major international art collections including Cognetas, the Bridgmann art library, Lesley Jones and Monika Bobinska.