It was a pleasure this week to put some of my Kane Gallery artists (and Bristol artists I have blogged about) into the Prilic exhibition for the series of events organised by Impermanence Dance Theatre Company. I caught up with one of my new Kane Gallery artists Ron. His work is evocative, and it was great he made a sale at the exhibition. Here is the work he has there till Saturday and an interview about his journey into art and why the exhibition was so personal for him.
Ron’s earliest memory of art was being physically punished by a nun at a catholic nursery, slapped on the knuckles with a wooden ruler for drawing with a pencil after being told to use a crayon. He said ‘I found a pencil easier – it would do what I wanted and crayons were too big! Since that time, I have been suspicious of those preaching peace and conformity through violence, though I was very young, it is a memory that has stuck, violence does that to you.’
Art, he says, has always been with him. He has always drawn and made things, always seen shapes and objects in shadows and has always been an observer of people and colour of the mundane. ‘There has never been a question of how I got into art, more, how and why I avoided it when I did and do. Survival is a cruel mistress that drives a bitter and twisted satnav!’
When I asked him about he influences on his work he said it was a tricky question to answer ‘I love colour, I love contrast and details, I love expression and people, I love theatre and film, I love music, energy and the observation of emotion. I have been extremely privileged to have worked with heroes like Terry Brain and Dave Borthwick, people who oozed emotion and were a joy to work with, something I feel maybe the nuns took from me. Art is an outlet where you can express what is uncomfortable in normal life, I’m not sure I do this, but it is in us all and whether that emotion transfers is not for me to judge, but there is usually more than surface paint in a picture.’
I asked him about what he is looking forward to next year ‘Planning is not a strong point for me, life has a way of surprising you when you least expect it, reminding you of times gone, thoughts had and people met, things you wish you hadn’t done, that you wish you had and those of which you are glad. We all have regrets, but would we swap the experience we have had for those chances missed – I think of this a lot!
It may just be age, but I don’t look at years or months forward or back, we live in the now, and that is hard enough!’
About New years resolutions he added ‘They are for the weekly minded, I can fail without planning or a timescale! Why give up the things you enjoy, I’m a smoking ex-smoker, I only smoke with those who smoke, the rest of the time I don’t – not a resolution, just a choice!’
He said that the Prilic exhibition, for him, was an emotional journey as he had history with the building and with other artists exhibiting. I asked him to tell me more ‘Before I went to University, I was involved and responsible for a lot of the Dance Centres publicity and spent time around the building as it was used for dance classes, music performances and also as theatre rehearsal space (including Bristol Hippodrome pantomimes). The Dance Centre had a constant battle for funding and retaining its presence as a community arts venue, and many avenues were looked into as a potential source of revenue to keep it alive and kicking. To see the Centre in its current condition of neglect, the stained ceiling tiles and peeling paint in a cold echoing shell, was moving and a contrast to the buildings warmth at its peak, and the excitement and joy of kids getting ready to go to classes.’
About the people he added ‘At University, I spent a fair bit of time hanging out with Emma Caton, also showing at The Prilic exhibition, opening night was the fist time I have seen her since leaving Uni. We obviously had loads to talk about.’
Finally what did he think of the Prilic exhibition: ‘I enjoyed the ambience of the event, the echoes of my past there and shared deep felt memories with persons present. I loved the diversity of art and raw energy of making it happen, the reminder that by being part of something, we make it happen. I got there late, but no less proud of being part of it.’
You can see the Prilic exhibition at Bristol Dance Centre, Jacobs Wells Baths, Bristol on till Saturday 16 December 2017.