Bradford-born artist Alan Gummerson was born in Bradford Moor in 1928.

He attended what was then Bradford Regional College of Art and Craft from 1945 to 1947, and went on to teach at Leeds College of Art from 1957 until he retired in 1984.

During that time, in 1963, an exhibition of his work was put on at Bradford’s former Lane Gallery in North Parade.

This year, a major exhibition of his work is being mounted at Halifax’s Dean Clough Galleries.

“It’s a battlefield in which Dean Clough’s attempts to offer an inveterate artist a retrospective has clashed with the artist’s attempt to emphasise his latest work,” said Vic Allen, Dean Clough’s arts director.

However, the content of Gummerson’s exhibition remains unclear. I only know that four vanloads and two carloads of pictures, drawings and objects had been transported from his remote Calderdale home to Dean Clough.

The artist said: “All my work is bolstered by family and amazing friends: not that they should be held responsible for my continued urge to make art nor for my inadequacies.

“And as for the inadequacies, they are an essential part of the results. Life would seem empty without the making.”

Trying to categorise the range of Alan’s output is probably a waste of time, as Vic suggested: “He has ranged with gleeful abandon across disciplines as varied as etching, painting, collages, ceramics, bronzes and assemblages.

“Around 25 years ago, Alan came to live in one of the wilder parts of Calderdale. As he became disengaged with the more self-serving aspects of the educational system, his exhibiting opportunities diminished.

“Curiously, this happened after a series of shows at Bankfield Museum and Oldham Art Galery, where his large ‘anti-war, pro-fun’ assemblages generated spontaneous public acclaim.

“Undaunted and unembittered, Alan has continued to work: drawing landscapes and nude studies, while his mind has bubbled away on the sculptural possibilities of bread and on graphic paintings evolved from the reductive writings of Samuel Beckett.”

Which writings? The artist won’t specify, other than to acknowledge them as a source of inspiration.

  • Alan Gummerson’s exhibition, Now And Then, is on at Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax, until May 10. Opening hours are 9.30am to 5pm, seven days a week. Admission is free. For further information ring (01422) 250250.