Rowan Huntley: Slingsby's Norway at the Alpine Club

08/03/2004 ::  

The Alpine Club will be hosting an exhibition of paintings by Rowan Huntley from 21 November until Christmas time. "Norway – Slingsby’s Northern Playground" is a visual study of the mountains of Jotunheimen and Lofoten in Norway, where British Mountaineer WC Slingsby climbed extensively in the late 19th / early 20th century making many first ascents.

If you would like to see this inspirational collection, you must do so by prior arrangement with the Alpine Club (Tel:020 7613 0755), as it is a members only club which is not open to the public. There are a limited number of invitations remaining for the Private View launch, so if you would like further information email Rowan directly.

More information on Rowan’s work can be seen at

The Ambassador's speech

Ambassador Brautaset’s speech at the opening of Ms. Rowan Huntley’s exhibition at the Alpine Club, London, Friday 21 November 2003:

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I’m grateful to you, Mr. Blackshaw, for inviting my wife and me to the famous Alpine Club tonight. The Club is an institution that has been able to uphold its longstanding traditions - and at the same time to adapt itself to the 21st century.

I also feel deeply honoured to be invited to speak at the opening of the exhibition of Rowan Huntley’s paintings. My wife and I had the pleasure of seeing some of her work a year ago in Cardiff, and have been very much looking forward to tonight’s opening.

When I look at Rowan’s paintings, I’m reminded of the Norwegian philosopher and mountaineer Arne Næss and his lasting love for the solitude and naked beauty of the Norwegian mountains.

Næss always points out that for him, the summit isn’t the goal in itself. The aim is to be by and with the mountain. "We are there to celebrate the mountain;" he says, "to reach the summit is a parenthesis."

Rowan also celebrates the mountains. And in doing so, she brings a glimpse of their greatness and tranquility into our urban and stressful lives.

Rowan grew up in the Lowlands of Scotland watching her father paint, but it was not obvious that she were to become a landscape painter. The turning point probably came when she, in 1994, discovered the greatness of the mountains of Snowdonia in North Wales. Furthermore, glaciers and the process of glaciation came to be more and more important to her art. Exploring the Jotunheimen National Park in Norway, with its rugged mountains and huge glaciers, came as a natural progression.

And this is where the Alpine Club’s proud history and Rowan’s art meet. This was exactly the preferred area of activity to William Cecil Slingby and the early mountaineering pioneers a hundred years ago. The family of one of Slingby’s Norwegian friends, Henning Tønsberg, has been in touch with me. Some of the letters Mr. Slingby and Mr. Tønsberg exchanged are on exhibit here tonight and bear testimony to their fascination, respect and love of the same wild landscape that Rowan makes us experience through her art.

Rowan is a classical painter in the sense that she spends a lot of time travelling, visiting and living in the landscapes she paints. She then goes back home and works very hard in her studio. Based on her sketches, drawings etc. the painting process starts. What strikes me about her art is the vibrancy of the colour and the maturity of the art of painting that she possesses.

I believe the paintings will appeal to you all, and it gives me great pleasure to declare this exhibition to be open.

Send this article to a friend
Print version

Photo: Rowan Huntley