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Northamptonshire artist Chris Fiddes


One of the museum’s opening art exhibitions is ‘Chris Fiddes Challenging Perspectives’, looking back over the life and career of Northamptonshire artist, Chris Fiddes. Fiddes has been painting for over 60 years and he continues to this day. His artistic approach is unusual as he paints his perspective on current affairs and the world around him, using traditional painting techniques inspired by more traditional artists. He uses his paintings to challenge perceptions and extend people’s awareness of human experiences.

Brief biography

Born in 1934, Fiddes attended Northampton School of Art and went on to obtain a teaching diploma. After his National Service in Hong Kong, he worked as an art teacher for over 20 years before retiring to focus on his art full-time. Fiddes is important for art and heritage in Northamptonshire, not only for depicting the county, but also for his involvement in campaigns to protect the local countryside and the town’s historic buildings.

Our collection

The museum is home to 21 oil paintings by Fiddes as well as a few preparatory sketches. Within our collection is one of his earliest paintings, ‘Kowloon Riots’. This was painted in 1956 in response to the quelling of the riots that Fiddes witnessed while on his National Service in Kowloon, Hong Kong. It marks a notable change in style from his previous abstract landscapes.

Kowlon Riots, by Chris Fiddes

A painting showing the dead and dying rioters in the aftermath of the Kowloon Riots

Also notable within our collection is a series of works responding to conflict in Northern Ireland. These paintings were based on sketches Fiddes produced during his visit to Belfast during the 1970s.

Car Bomb, by Chris Fiddes

A painting showing a white car holding a bomb which has just been detonated and people around running and screaming in response to the explosion

Visit the exhibition to see the paintings that have shaped Fiddes’ career and find out more.

Chris Fiddes - Challenging perspectives