Neil Roland - Gallery 16 Special Celebration pictures - individual
I can create pictures either from my existing collections, or by having
pictures specially commissioned - or a blend of the two - pictures to celebrate
the lives of those close to you, to mark birthdays, anniversaries or simply a
relationship to date.
In this gallery, are a few examples of peoples choices to give an
idea of the possibilities. Sometimes, it may involve the houses in which
theyve lived through their lives, a favourite first car - places
theyve spent special time enjoying - or even such things as chocolate, a
particular flower - all worked into an aesthetic work that flows from start to
Its a real pleasure to witness the effect such a picture can have
on its recipient when Im lucky enough to see the moment they see it for
the first time.
Please note that the size, colours and quality of the pictures on
this page have been reduced for web viewing and do not accurately represent the
detail and vivid colours of the actual photographs
Everything But The Varenky
This was a commission for a 60th birthday. The essence of the
picture was designed to celebrate a woman who had trained as a dancer, whose
parentage was both Italian and Ukrainian, and had grown up in the Stayleybridge
area of Tameside. Her younger sister commissioned the work, and named it after
the Ukrainian dumplings their mother had made for their father and the family.
The remit of the artwork was to be vivid, and to show the recipient's love of
fashion, together with lots of little family histories, from the Ford Cortina
Mark 1 into which they all piled as it was the only car in the street at the
time, to the places which really meant something to her growing up and into her
East of Edale
'A celebration of two cities - Hull and Sheffield, all in
shades of red and gold. The beauty of this large, square picture is that the
largest images can lead the aesthetics, whilst the relevance of very specific
places that matter to the couple commissioning the artwork are all worked
together in the small but intricate centre section, so the work will be
visually bold and stimulating, whilst telling the story of their lives in a
The Road To Ruby
'A ruby wedding artwork that took in forty years of combined
lives, from nursing at St. Thomas's Hospital in London, travel around the
globe, and a first meeting on the Lambeth Bridge, to settling on the Wirrall,
and many years of happy life together there.
Band of Gold
A Golden wedding present from a son to his parents, a couple
whose lives have revolved around the towns of Hinckley and Burbage in
Leicestershire. Included are a vintage triumph bike (as the father rode when he
met his bride to be), the homes in which they have lived since their births,
and through their marriage, their favourite foods, their shared passions and
the old Co-op dance floor where they first danced fifty years
Nought to Sixty
A surprise 60th birthday artwork from a wife to her husband.
This begins with a slice of patterned carpet which was in his bedroom when he
grew up. Maps trace his steps around the country, and his childhood teddy bear,
still kept by his mother. The doors at his school and then a section of signs
showing all the places that have mattered to him through life. His wedding
venue, followed by an ice blue Ford Anglia - his first car. The gates to Heaton
Mersey Common, where he loves to walk, and vegetables, grown in his garden - a
Have I Told You Lately?
A special 50th birthday picture for a man who was presented
with the picture at my studio as part of his birthday celebrations. For this
work, I discussed the main areas of life which his wife felt would move him,
and would stimulate the best memories. _ A blend of North Wales, belongings
from childhood - intimate visual stimulii over the decades. The picture was
unveiled at my studio as they went out for a meal, and it was a lovely
experience for me, to watch the pleasure of realisation spread over his face as
he took in his wife's interpretation of his first five decades.
898 to 55
This was a special birthday picture for a woman from her
parents and siblings. It opens with the stained glass windows at the Manchester
home in which she was born, and closes with the door in Muswell Hill, North
London at which she currently resides. In between, are the staircases at her
schools, The University of Birmingham where she studied, the venue for her
marriage, in Hampstead, London, tennis and hockey on a background of her hall
floor to represent her children, and her favourite foods.
Just Say It How It Is
All created from lettering on iconic Manchester buildings, this
was created as a gift for a psychotherapist. I can build letters into any
concept, idea or sentiment. Recent commissions include 'If It Glisters, It May
Still be Gold', or a wealth management company, and 'I love You Jacques Ranc'
for a man in Paris from his, well, lover.
I & L Dec 28 2010
Was the intials and date of a wedding, commissioned as a gift
from the maid of honour to the couple. The possibilties, are, naturally bounded
only by imagination.
Life of Brian
As a 70th birthday present from his son, this picture is all
about the life of a man whose first car was a grey, 1950s Austin A30. I have
photographed the house in which he was born, with the views from that house.
The church at which he married (even finding the marriage records inside, and
photographing those too); the places in which he has lived, references to the
company he owned and made grow and the wine he likes to drink.
The couple who chose the images for this picture wanted the
picture to complement an existing work of mine which was all about the
important places in their lives. For this picture, to hang in a large country
kitchen, they wanted a mix of Altrincham, Knutsford Sweden and food. So here it
is. They came to the studio and we chose pictures of fruit and cheeses, of
chocolate brownies and a dishes from their favourite restaurant, Otto Lenghi,
in London, and blended these with the places where theyd enjoyed these
meals on special dates. This picture shows a different configuration, with
nine equal sized images worked as a large, lanscape picture of approx five foot
by four foot - but of course it could be configured quite differently, and in a
Here, the client wanted only food - and to keep it sweet and
principally in the plums and reds colour scheme - so I kept this picture to
fruit, cake and chocolate, with just a trio of lemons to spike
Here, and Some There
Sometimes, it is purely the aesthetics which lead an artwork,
rather than relevance. Here, the client wanted turquoise and flame, and to draw
from Buxton and Didsbury - but to keep the images mostly abstract. The panel of
signage meant that relevance could be achieved easily with graphic words, but
all in the relevant colours, while the stained glass and tile work made a
luminescent, jewelled picture around it.
A Time To Wear Purple
When a popular doctor was retiring, her colleagues wanted to
create two pictures for a particular wall in her home. Rather than her life
story, they wanted to celebrate her love of nature, animals, flowers and birds,
and theme it with her ebullient characteristic colours of violet and pink and
bright yellow. These images - all from around the area in which she lives, were
interspersed with specially taken images from within her own house and garden,
which created a wonderful surprise present.
The Listers of Lovers Lane
For their marriage, the parents of the young couple who
received this picture told me all about their lives - the places where the
couple went out, the car they drove, the place where the groom proposed, and
the church in which they were to marry. Travelling around various Lancashire
locations, I built up a series of images which reflected their lives together
which was presented to them on their wedding day.
Roots and Routes
was created for a Coronation Street actress to celebrate the
town from which she came, the places she liked to frequent while living in
Manchester, and the things she liked to eat while living in the
Life So Far
A portrait work for a 40th birthday for a man who came from
Wigan, lives in Castlefield and loves vivid colours. His friends chose twenty
five images which represent his passions and pleasures, and I worked it into a
very personal picture which he said was the best present hed ever
Love, Laughter, Lymm
A ruby wedding picture for a couple who live and love Lymm in
Up and Down The Road
A blend of Glasgow and Manchester and Cheadle. The title
reflects the Scottish way of referring to going up and down the motorways
between Scotland and England. There is a large Glasgow collection to see at my
A Mini Adventure
This was commissioned for a couple who were getting married,
but did not want wedding pictures - rather an original artwork
inspired by the places and things which had gone into their relationship and
run up to their wedding day. The picture opens with the nightclub where they
met, the area of London where they currently live, the paper flowers which
would be strewn over the tables at the wedding, the road signs which relate to
their work, the sweing machine which created the grooms suit, the wedding
invitation, the spot where they waited for a late night taxi after their first
date, and the indicator light on the Mini car which was so central to their
The brief was to make it vibrant and fun, with plenty of red,
orange and yellow.
This picture did not require any commissioned work, as I had
all the pictures within my existing collections. The couple wanted an extra
wide picture, themed on aquas and blues. There are details of buildings in
Manchester, Knutsford, Liverpool, Didsbury and Lancashire, all of which were
relevant to their lives, but with the emphasis on the aesthetics of the colour
This play on words title, refers to a picture created for a
parents ruby wedding anniversary all centred around Didsbury. The images
include plenty of ruby red pictures, but also bring in all the places that were
important to the couple .
This picture, for a 45th birthday, is named after a favourite
song. It incorporates the background of the recipient - with Ireland and
Droylesden, the church in which he married, a section on Leeds, where he
studied at University, his football team, the swimming baths where he spent
time in his youth, his school, and the pubs and restaurants he enjoys most. The
brief was to do it with blues, greens and touches of yellow.
A Tale of Two Cities
This picture involves a blend of Liverpool and Manchester for a
couple who have lived in both cities. The images are worked together so the two
cities complement each other with their different architecture. Again, no
commission was necessary as I had all the images. It just takes a conversation
to discover what really matters to the people choosing. Its an intimate
and highly enjoyable mutual discovery.
This was the address of the recently deceased mother of a woman
who wanted to capture the essence of her mother through the flowers she loved
best which grew in her mothers garden and in the local partks. This was
themed to pink with blue. No buildings, just the natural beauty which brought
her mother to mind.
I believe in a Thing Called Love
Here, the student days at Manchester University of the
clients boyfriend are blended with the places they have enjoyed together
- and includes a section of Manchester buildings with the letters of their
names. A totally personal piece, yet all from existing pictures in my
A Northern Odyssey
Here, the remit was to create in shades of plum and turquoise
blue, the journey around places which matter to a couple - to include the
Northern Quarter in Manchester and Chorlton. The section full of signs allows
lots of relevant places to be brought into the picture without detracting from
the overall aesthetics.
Northern Odyssey Pink
Here, a mix of Macclesfield, Halifax, Manchester, Liverpool and
Didsbury are brought together in an explosion of shocking pink for a really
feel-good combination of vibrant colour and relevance.
Shades of Manchester
A Vertical work, incorporating gold, black and white images of
Manchester, chosen from the collections by clients who wanted to theme the
picture to go with a dramatic gold, black and white bedroom.
from a series of pictures commissioned by clients of their
** It is possible to blend images of a particular place with
existing city images, for example, gold pictures from a village, which Gold
Manchester/Liverpool/Sheffield or London images.