A GLOBALLY-renowned painter has returned to Swindon more than 50 years after he left the town of his birth.

Artist Peter Waldron, who left Swindon for Chelsea School of Art in 1964, is back for his first solo exhibition at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.

Peter, who now spends the winters in his studio on Crete, will display 25 paintings at the Bath Road museum. The exhibition opens next Wednesday.

All of the pictures were painted over three consecutive summers since 2010. “Every summer I seem to produce a different batch of work,” said Peter.

The massive artworks dominate a third of Swindon Museum’s modern gallery. Among the works are large gold paintings inspired by the religious art of the Orthodox Church and brooding paintings sparked by visits to a Crete cave network that the ancient Greeks believe once hid an infant god Zeus.

He said that his paintings had changed hugely over the 50 years since he left Swindon School of Art – but that he still found himself carried away in the creative process.

“You don’t have any say in it,” he said. “It’s a burden that few people blessed with.”

Former Rodbourne resident Peter studied mechanical engineering, before taking up a place at the Swindon art school.

He said: “It’s my first time in Swindon since 1964. I couldn’t find anything.

“I really hope that some of my old friends will be able to go along to the exhibition.”

Sophie Cummings, curator at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, said of the exhibition: “It’s brilliant in two ways.

“First of all, I’m not sure that many people in Swindon know that Peter’s a great artist with a Swindon connection.

“If you look at the work it’s so full of colour, energy and drama, you can’t help but be moved by it.”

Peter Waldron: Odyssey is at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Bath Road, from Wednesday, October 11, to Saturday, November 18. Entrance is free.

For more, visit: www.swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk.